I was stunned to see the variety of sessions! | India Team Spotlight: Hafsah M

By Kush K | Monday, July 25, 2022

The India Team has many hardworking and dedicated members. One of these volunteer tutors are Hafsah M, who also contributes to Schoolhouse in a variety of other ways. Get to know her here!

How did you hear about the Schoolhouse platform and what inspired you to join it?

I initially got to know about Schoolhouse back in 2020 through a YouTube video uploaded by Sal, but since I was underage at that time, I didn’t join, and then completely forgot about it later on. However, one day in November 2021, when I was looking for a calculus video on the Khan Academy YouTube Channel, I stumbled upon one of the recordings of the “Ask Sal Anything” sessions on schoolhouse and intrigued by the title, I watched the video and was really inspired by the motive behind Schoolhouse and its mission because I personally wanted to help students like me who didn’t have access to high quality education. After seeing the video, I joined the platform solely as a learner thinking it would be beneficial to get ahead in school, but never really thought of becoming a tutor, thinking I was quite young and wouldn’t be able to do it. However, after joining a few sessions, several tutors encouraged me to volunteer, and seeing their passion in sessions really motivated me to become a volunteer. A month later, I joined the community as a tutor.

What were your first impressions of the platform?

When I joined the platform (originally as a learner), I was stunned to see the variety of sessions there were to offer, and was really astonished by the passion of the tutors to help students across the globe.

What was your first session like?

For my first session, I was worried that no learner would show up and was quite nervous but excited at the same time. The session was on Variables and Expressions, the first topic that I got certified in when I applied to become a tutor. Ultimately, two learners joined the session, something that was really exciting for me. I remember being really nervous at the start, but after some time, I felt comfortable and really got into the flow of teaching the topic, going well over time in that session (it was supposed to take place for 80 minutes but lasted for 120 minutes). That session made me realise my love for teaching, and truly experiencing the joy when the learners had their “Aha” moment.

What motivated you to keep going?

After the first session, I became really passionate and found my love for teaching, and my dream of helping students became a major reason for me to continue hosting sessions. Along with that, getting to meet the amazing community here, making a lot of friends, and seeing everyone's passion for the platform really motivated me to continue volunteering.

Apart from being a tutor, how do you contribute to the Schoolhouse community?

Other than tutoring, I am also involved in several volunteer teams at Schoolhouse and have worked on several projects. I have been a part of the auditing team since January 2022, the blog team (as a staff writer) since June 2022, the India team since April 2022, and have been working unofficially with the community engagement team for the past 2-3 months. I was previously a part of the onboarding buddies team for 2 months as well.

How do you find balance between your school life and volunteering at

It really is important to find the right balance between volunteering at schoolhouse and school life, since it is quite easy to find yourself volunteering for everything even if you don’t have the time because of all of the amazing opportunities here. For me, in order to balance everything, I usually set a fixed time for my volunteering work at schoolhouse every day and a specific day for hosting sessions.

What was your reaction after your first positive feedback?

When I received my first positive feedback after my first session, I was proud of myself, but at the same time, couldn’t really believe that the feedback was written for me. The fact that I was able to help a learner and make a difference really was unbelievable. It was at that time that I understood how much feedback meant to a tutor and how it made you feel.

What are some things you look forward to when hosting a session?

When hosting a session, I look forward to the time I spend with learners to help them understand a concept, interacting with them and doing what I love to and always dreamed to do, to teach and make a difference in a student's life by making them learn something new. Along with that, I always look forward to new learnings for myself, both to improve as a tutor and become a better student.

What advice do you have for the new tutors of

To all the new tutors, I’d say that you should believe in yourself and that you’ll do great in your first session. If there’s ever any questions or hurdles you come across while tutoring or volunteering, the amazing community here is always ready to help; never hesitate to ask any questions or ask for help.

In your opinion, how does fit into the world?

I think that peer-to-peer tutoring, the idea is based on, really is the future of the world by helping students to get more chances to learn something new, as well as to truly master the concepts they’ve studied. I believe that will play a huge role in shaping education in the future, and what education will even look like.

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