👟 Step In 👟
Three people, three stories.
Simran is a student from India. After becoming a tutor at Schoolhouse, she asked a simple but intriguing question: Can one improve as a tutor by role-playing in various tutoring scenarios? In other words, one person plays as the tutor, and they find someone else to play as the learner. How helpful might that be?
Mariah hails from North Carolina, USA. She's also the co-founder of Schoolhouse. After taking on a new responsibility last summer with Schoolhouse's session quality AOR (area of responsibility), she was getting ready to scale up the tutor development system…and then noticed something. The rubric for evaluating tutors was too broad and inconsistent across reviewers. It needed to be revamped.
Asher is a high schooler in Oregon, originally from Vietnam. As they joined the Slack community for tutors, they quickly became immersed in the various channels. That's when they noticed a large influx of new tutors that were asking questions in #tutoring-support and weren't always being responded to right away.
What these three did next is what is so important at Schoolhouse: they acted.
Simran started an informal group of tutors to partake in what she called "microtutoring." They role-played with each other and provided feedback on each other's tutoring.
Mariah jumped straight into it and worked with volunteer mentors to revamp the tutoring rubric. Within days there was a new working version of the rubric that could be tested and iterated upon.
Asher simply started responding to other new tutors' questions on Slack. Sure, Asher was new, but so were they. Soon, Asher was one of the most active volunteers responding to Slack questions.
These three stories illustrate three individuals all determined to support tutors (and through them, ultimately learners).
But more than that, these stories illustrate the power of an individual to 👟 Step In 👟.
Whether confronted with an opportunity (like Simran's microtutoring idea) or a problem (like Mariah's recognizing the limitations in our current tutor rubric), these individuals chose a bias towards action. They threw themselves into the arena and got to work. No one had to tell them to do it. They just went for it.
In some cases, they already had responsibility and it was about taking ownership over that responsibility. Mariah works full-time for Schoolhouse. What was important was how she saw through to the end goal-improving the quality of tutoring-and recognized what was getting in the way of that (the rubric). No one told her to do that. She identified the problem and implemented the solution. It wasn't a one-person job-in fact, a number of volunteers were involved-but it did take an owner to spearhead the charge. Mariah was that person.
In other cases, there was no responsibility to be had. Simran and Asher were new volunteer tutors at the time. They weren't yet on any volunteer teams. There was no explicit structure for them to contribute. But that didn't matter. Stepping in is also about contributing to areas outside defined roles. Simran and Asher found a way to contribute.
And when it comes to knowing where to step in, the key is identifying a shared goal in the Schoolhouse community. In these cases, the shared goal was supporting tutors in various stages of their tutoring experience. Everyone agreed it was important, but not everyone had the time or energy to contribute. These folks did.
👟 Stepping In 👟 is one of Schoolhouse's core values, and Simran, Mariah, and Asher are just three examples of a much broader phenomenon in the Schoolhouse team and community. There's a reason it's a core value.
Still, in the case of these three particular stories, their impact is not to be understated.
Simran's microtutoring has now become a core part of our "New Tutor Onboarding" welcoming tours, available to all new tutors.
Mariah's revamped tutor rubric is now in use across the platform, with very promising results.
Asher, just months later, is now co-lead of both the Tutor Operations Team and Welcoming Team.
Indeed, it is as co-lead of the Welcoming Team that Asher has including Simran's microtutoring activities, in order to prepare new tutors to excel on Mariah's revamped rubric. It all connects.
Ultimately, Schoolhouse is just a bunch of stepping in 👟.
So how can you step in? Fortunately, that can be as simple as just taking one more step.
If you're new to Schoolhouse, welcome! Sign up to be a learner or tutor on our homepage. That's where everyone starts their journey.
If you're already a learner at Schoolhouse, consider becoming a tutor.
And if you're already a tutor, consider becoming a more active volunteer just like Simran and Asher. That could entail answering other tutors' questions in Slack or even joining a volunteer team.
Still don't know where to begin? Send me a quick email and I'd love to point you in the right direction. Onwards!
This is Part 2 in a four-part series on Schoolhouse values. See Parts 1, 3, and 4.
Thank you to Simran, Mariah, Asher, Ishani, and Maya for providing feedback on this post.
Written by Drew Bent, COO of schoolhouse.world. [email protected]
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