"Heart Math Tutoring was my favorite time of the week. I loved the eagerness of the children about learning and mastering math, probably for the first time."-2018/19 HMT Volunteer at Westerly Hills Academy
Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteering with Heart
Who can volunteer?
Anyone who wants to help children increase their confidence and knowledge in math is encouraged to become a tutor – no math or teaching experience required! HMT tutors come from a variety of backgrounds, from college students, to professionals working full-time, to retirees. The requirements to volunteer are in accordance with district policies (see regional page for more details). All HMT Volunteers must pass a background check, complete the required orientation, agree to HMT’s Tutor Code of Conduct and Child Protection Policy, and must be able to commit to tutoring for at least thirty minutes or one hour per week.
Math is not a strong subject for me. Would I still enjoy Heart and be an effective tutor?
Yes! No math, teaching, or tutoring experience is required. You will be following an easy, fun curriculum that features hands-on activities and math games. The lessons involve cubes, playing cards, number shapes, and other manipulatives that allow students to internalize patterns and have fun with the numbers. HMT is designed to strengthen foundational number sense at the elementary level, which ranges from counting, to addition/subtraction of whole numbers, to single-digit multiplication. That 98% of students to date have demonstrated significant growth in math in our in-person program is evidence that the curriculum is easy to follow and anyone can be an effective tutor.
When do you need tutors?
Generally speaking, tutoring sessions are held Monday – Thursday during the school day from the end of September to the end of April. You can select your school and day of the week in the sign-up form here: heartmathtutoring.org/volunteers/become-a-volunteer/.
Do you accept volunteers year-round?
Yes, we appreciate volunteer sign-ups throughout most of the school year! Heart Math Tutoring enrolls students on a rolling basis. You can get started anytime between September and February and do not need to wait until the beginning of the next semester. Ideally, volunteers begin tutoring in late September and continue through late April in order to provide students with as much time in the program as possible. However, when a volunteer signs up later in the school year, we are normally able to add students to the program. Many students need extra help in math, and every time a volunteer signs up, an additional student can be tutored.
Do I have to come up with activities or bring materials for the tutoring sessions?
No, a significant focus of HMT has been making tutoring easy and accessible for community volunteers. HMT provides all the activities, materials, and training for its tutors, laying down most of the groundwork so tutors can focus their energy on tutoring.
How am I trained?
Orientation – All volunteers must complete required tutor orientation to learn more about HMT’s mission, model, and curriculum. Each orientation usually lasts one to two hours depending on the delivery model and region, and will prepare you to deliver the HMT curriculum prior to your first session with your student.
Ongoing Training – Volunteers receive email communication between sessions, support during tutoring sessions from an on-site Program Coordinator, and optional training workshops. Additional resources will be provided for virtual tutors to familiarize themselves with the technology used during virtual tutoring sessions. All volunteers reading partners can also access training videos and resources available on the online Tutor Portal (hyperlink to Tutor Portal).
Will my schedule stay the same throughout the year?
Heart Math Tutoring will make every effort to arrange consistent tutoring times with schools so that your tutoring session will remain the same throughout the year.
Do I see the same student(s) every week?
Yes! The relationship you will build by supporting the same student(s) each week has a tremendous positive impact, and you and your student(s) will enjoy working together to accomplish math goals throughout the year. Each tutoring session is 30 minutes, so most volunteers tutor two students back-to-back for 30 minutes each.
What if I can’t make it to a session one week?
Consistency is key in making an impact with your student, but we understand that sometimes life happens! When possible, reach out to your Program Coordinator ahead of time who can provide options to reschedule.
How are students selected to participate in Heart Math Tutoring?
Teachers at Heart Math Tutoring partner schools nominate students to participate in the program who are 1-3 years behind in elementary math and would not otherwise have access to resources for private tutoring. HMT staff members individually assess nominated students to determine whether they would benefit from the program and which math concepts need focus. HMT students are in grades 1-5.
How has Heart Math Tutoring’s program format changed in response to COVID-19?
The majority of tutoring is taking place in-person at elementary schools across all regions, while tutoring at select school sites in Charlotte, NC is virtual. You can select your setting by choosing an in-person or virtual option on the Volunteer Signup Form. For in-person tutoring, masks will be optional and COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged but not required for in-person tutors. We will continue to ask in-person tutors to stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. HMT policy may change throughout the year depending on community health metrics and district and CDC guidelines. For virtual tutoring, volunteers and students meet on Zoom and use fun and impactful curriculum modifications on Google Jamboard.
How is Heart Math Tutoring protecting students and tutors in the virtual environment?
HMT is committed to ensuring the highest standard of safety to protect students, tutors, and staff in the virtual environment. This includes using a secure technology platform, screening tutors, and providing ample tutor training. Virtual tutoring will continue to take place with in-person Heart Program Coordinators on-site with students. The Heart Program Coordinator is at the school site helping students log into sessions and also oversees sessions and troubleshoots any issues experienced by remote volunteer tutors. Note: Virtual tutoring is currently only offered in Charlotte, NC.
How is Heart Math Tutoring protecting students and tutors in the in-person environment?
As of July 2022, masks will be optional and COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged but not required to tutor in-person during the 2022/23 school year. We will continue to ask in-person tutors to stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19. HMT policy may change throughout the year depending on community health metrics and district and CDC guidelines.