Online Tutoring FAQs

Application Process

How long does the tutor application and hiring process take?

The online application takes about 10 minutes to complete. After reviewing each application, we invite qualified candidates to participate in a one-way video interview, which takes approximately one hour. Depending on how quickly you complete your interview, you can receive a hiring decision within 8 business days of applying. For more details, please review our Application Process page. If you’re ready to apply, we’re ready to meet you! Apply here.

What’s a one-way video interview?

For BookNook’s one-way video interview, we’ll send you a few questions over video. When you’re ready, you’ll use our video tool (called SparkHire) to record your answers, along with a short teaching sample. Making your videos is as simple as clicking a link and recording from your phone or computer camera and microphone. You’ll have the opportunity to re-record several times if you like. This asynchronous process allows you to complete your interview at a convenient time for you and helps us review submissions and make hiring decisions more quickly.

Though you won’t meet with us live during the hiring process, we assure you that we are, in fact, real humans! We love getting to know you through your interview videos, and you’ll have the opportunity to get to know us through Zoom office hours and webinars after you’re hired. 

What qualifications do I need to become an online tutor?

Please refer to our Application Process page for complete details on candidate qualifications and what else we’re looking for. 

If I don’t live in the United States, can I still work for BookNook?

You may live outside the United States and work for BookNook, but all BookNook tutors must be either: 

  • A current U.S. citizen or 
  • A U.S. permanent resident with a current social security number or individual tax identification number issued by the United States

Please note that our school district partners require that all tutors complete a background check with fingerprints. If you are living outside the United States, you can typically complete ink fingerprints through a U.S. embassy, U.S. consulate, or local law enforcement agency, though you should confirm this in your local area before moving forward with us.

Students & Schedule

How do I get tutoring appointments?

BookNook tutors have access to the BookNook Tutor Portal, which lists all our available tutoring opportunities (an opportunity is a series of 30-minute tutoring sessions over the course of 8-16 weeks), including dates and student grade and reading levels for each. You can select opportunities that match your availability and grade-level preference by clicking a button to sign up. Once you’ve selected the opportunities you want, those sessions are officially on your schedule and no longer available to other tutors. 

Please note that our school district partners require that BookNook tutors pass a background check to work with their students. Tutors can only sign up for opportunities from states they have been background checked for. However, we can walk you through the process of getting background checks in any of the states we work with and will reimburse you for those expenses. See our Background Check FAQ below to learn more. 

How long is a typical tutoring session? How long is a tutoring opportunity?

Each BookNook tutoring session is 30 minutes long, but we rarely conduct single sessions. Research shows that the best outcomes in tutoring occur when tutors and students have a consistent relationship. So when you sign up for a BookNook tutoring opportunity, you’re signing up for 2–3 sessions per week for 8-16 weeks with the same group of 3–4 students. Tutors may sign up for multiple opportunities and tutor multiple groups of students as long as the schedules don’t conflict.

How many hours can I tutor per week and per year?

Tutoring with BookNook is an excellent way to supplement your income while helping students learn and love to read. On average tutors work between 1.5 hours and 10 hours a week, no minimum hours required. Our tutoring opportunities are 8–16 weeks long, and there may be gaps between jobs. BookNook is growing and aims to offer tutors up to 20 hours per week at scale (We’ll get there!). We recommend all interested candidates apply, start tutoring and gaining experience with our platform and join our online community to access amazing tutoring resources and meet peers. Once you’re hired, your ability to contract with us will not expire.

What grades can I tutor?

Tutors work with students in K–8th grades in small groups of 1–4. Students are grouped by reading level, so you may teach students of different ages and grades that are all within the same skill level. You’ll pick tutoring opportunities from a posted schedule of what’s available and can select for the levels you’re most comfortable and experienced teaching.

What if I need to take a break from tutoring? Can I start again later in the year?

Yes! While we ideally like our tutors to work year-round, we understand that tutoring work may be seasonal for you. You will still have access to our tutor portal to sign up for tutoring opportunities whenever you’re available.

Onboarding Process

What are the steps to start tutoring with BookNook after being offered a job?

After passing the application and interview process, you’ll need to complete the following steps to start tutoring:

  • Sign your contract
  • Provide bank information for payroll, as we pay by direct deposit
  • Complete BookNook’s certification course to learn our tutoring platform and portal; this 2.5-hour online course is paid at your tutoring rate of $18/hour
  • Complete at least one background check; we reimburse most associated fees—keep reading below for more details!
Why do tutors need to complete a background check? How does it work?

Since we work with students through school districts, our district partners require that BookNook tutors meet requirements similar to their classroom teachers, including background checks.

 Tutors must complete at least one background check to start tutoring. Several states we work with have different background check requirements, so we recommend completing multiple checks to gain access to the widest range of tutoring opportunities. BookNook has a dedicated team to assist you in the background check process—we’ll recommend which states to start with, offer online office hours to talk through the process, and answer questions over email. We also reimburse all background check fees except for travel, including vendor registration, hard copy fingerprint servicing, and notary fees. And we offer periodic background check completion bonuses!

If I have already been background checked in a state, do I need to do that state background check again for BookNook?

Just like other employers, school districts require their own background check for adults who work with students. For example, even if you have already been background checked in California for another teaching or tutoring job, you will still need to complete BookNook’s California background check to work with our district partners.

Pay

How much do I get paid and how does payment work?
  • $18/hour with potential for program-by-program bonuses
  • Payments twice per month via direct deposit
  • Reimbursements provided for background check expenses and time spent on BookNook Certification (2.5 hour certification course)
  • Tutors are independent contractors; you’ll receive a 1099 and are responsible for self-employment tax filings with the IRS

Technology

What technology do I need to tutor?

To tutor for BookNook you’ll need: 

  • Reliable internet connection
  • Tablet or larger (preferably a laptop or desktop computer)
  • Chrome or Safari browser
  • Computer camera 
  • Headset or earbuds with microphone and noise-canceling options
How do I learn to use BookNook tutoring tools?

Not to worry, we set you up for online tutoring success! Every new tutor completes a 2.5-hour certification course (paid at your tutoring rate of $18/hour) where you’ll learn all the BookNook essentials, including:

  • How to use the BookNook tutoring platform, how to help students progress effectively, and what to expect in a typical tutoring session
  • How to sign up for tutoring opportunities, claim substitute opportunities, and cancel sessions in our tutor portal
  • Expectations for working with students
  • How to access tech support and professional development opportunities
  • More about BookNook’s powerful mission and how your work makes a difference 

Make a difference for students who need it most.