Click here for Tele-Tutoring & Video Lessons while classrooms are closed.

Tutoring During COVID-19

This page was created as a resource for current Seeds of Literacy tutors who are helping students during COVID-19.

Last revised 05/04/2020 at 3:30pm

If the classroom is closed, how can I still tutor?

There are four ways you can still tutor — from the comfort of your home!

  1. Tele-tutor by phone, using a special conference line provided by Seeds.
  2. Video Lessons –  you teach a lesson you prepared on a topic of your choosing using a special video conference code provided by Seeds.
  3. Table Sessions by video, using a videoconferencing code provided by Seeds, students work independently, but you’re available for questions and explanations.
  4. Pre-record a lesson for upload to our website (using the same videoconferencing technology for live tutoring.)

What is the difference between tele tutoring, video lessons, recorded lessons, and table sessions?

What’s the difference between tele-tutoring and video tutoring? We wrote a short blog about it! 

Recorded lessons are just what they sound like: pre-recorded lessons you create! We’ve been recording all of our live video lessons and loading them to our website. Some tutors, however, aren’t available at the live-video times. If you’ve got a topic you want to pre-record, contact

Table Sessions: Instead of you giving a live lesson by video, you’re there as an encouraging face to answer any questions students may have as they work independently on packet work. Much like the classroom, you’re on the video call for the entire session, and jump in when needed.

Which kind of tutor does Seeds need the most right now?

We have been overwhelmed with tutors willing to conduct telephone tutoring sessions. It’s been great!

However, we really need tutors who are willing to conduct live video lessons or table sessions. We also need tutors who would be willing to pre-record short lessons on basic skills. We have a list of “how to” topics for you.


Tele-Tutoring: How will I know what the student is working on?

When they are in the classroom, students work from packets provided by site coordinators.

Now that students are at home, we’ve digitized most of these packets, and have also mailed hardcopies by request.

Tutors can access curriculum packets here.  (If you have difficulty accessing the curriculum, please contact a staff member to let them know.) 

Something came up and I can't tutor at my scheduled time. What do I do?

Just like for our students, life sometimes gets in the way. We understand if something comes up and you are unavailable to tutor at the time you have scheduled.

HOWEVER, we ask that you try to stick to the days and times you scheduled as much as possible. This consistency is critical to the success of our students who are already reluctant to try these new methods of tutoring. 

Additionally, we publish the schedule on our website, so students plan based on what has been published.

Due to limited staffing resources, we only update our schedule once a week. If you need to make a change for the FOLLOWING week, please submit your changes to the site coordinator by the Thursday prior.

I have been asked to log my volunteer time. How do I do that?

Your volunteer hours are directly related to the funding we receive and so it is VERY important that you log your time each day — even if you didn’t work with a student. 

Use one of the forms below to log your time (or the buttons at the top of this page).

TELE-TUTORING:  please log your  telephone tutoring hours using this simple form

VIDEO TUTORING: please log your video tutoring hours using this simple form.


Video Tutoring: Do I have to make the lessons myself? Can I choose any topic I want?

We have a list of suggested topics, but please don’t feel limited by them!

Only you know what you’re most comfortable teaching. Find something that inspires you and build a lesson around it.

The staff is always happy to help, but our resources are limited right now. Take a look at some of the lessons your fellow tutors presented, as well as what might already exist on YouTube for inspiration.

If you’re not up to preparing a specific lesson, you can also use video to do a Table Session. During a table session, students work individually on video. When they have a question and need explanation, they’ll ask and you are there to answer, just like the classroom.

I want to help...but no students have participated during my sessions. Why?

We know how frustrating it can be to donate your time, want to help, and then have no students call in.

But it’s important to remember — they DO value their education and they have a deep affection for their tutors.

Our students face multiple barriers that prevent them from prioritizing their education — and that’s without the additional stress of COVID-19.

Some have kids at home (now that schools have closed). Many have lost their jobs. Others are working overtime as food service workers are now deemed essential. Ensuring the safety and security of their families is their number one priority.

Please be patient with them and remember: Access to –and comfort with– technology is new for many of them.

We firmly believe their participation will increase as their comfort level grows. Please don’t give up on them.

Tele-Tutoring: My session started, no one has called in. How long should I wait before hanging up?

Please remain on the tele-tutoring line for the entire duration of your scheduled session.

See the question above. It is taking students a little time to adjust to a world with social distancing.

We don’t want a student to call in for the first time and be disappointed by not having a tutor on the line. If that happens, the likelihood that the student never calls back increases exponentially.

For those that HAVE participated in tele-tutoring, the response is overwhelmingly positive. They are so grateful to continue working on their education and are downright delighted to talk to the tutors! Word will spread.

It IS working. Just give it time.

Video Tutoring: Is there training provided?

GoToMeeting definitely takes some practice. is happy to conduct training sessions for groups of tutors, or you can watch a previous training below.

Can students take a GED test now?

If students have a computer, they can take a practice test at home.

However, all testing centers are currently closed. Students will not be able to take any official sections of the GED, TASC, or HiSET at this time.

Tele-Tutoring Tips...

Transitioning tutoring to voice only can be difficult for some subjects. We are developing tips to help you tutor by subject over the telephone. Check back as we will add more.


  • Check our Tutoring Resources to find the packet on which the student is working and walk through the examples together. If you have difficulty accessing the curriculum for the first time, contact a staff member. 
  • Have the student write out problems and work through them on paper.
  • If you normally rely on visual aides, ask the student to draw visuals (number lines, graphs, shapes, etc.) as you describe them.
  • Use words that help students visualize the problem, like “above,” “below,” “right side” etc. Explain clearly to students how to set-up and work through problems.