A Year of Tutoring for ALVS Online High School Students

Happy One Year Anniversary to Live Tutor Chat!

One year ago, ALVS implemented the Live Tutor Chat service to help students with their coursework in real-time. Since last May, our online tutors have assisted over 2,400 students with their math, science, English, and social studies assignments and questions.

The goal of our tutoring program is to help students get “unstuck” when they are working on their online courses. By accessing text-based Live Tutor Chat, students can get help immediately. Our tutors help students clarify assignment prompts and unpack course concepts to ultimately guide students to find answers for themselves.

Tutors are currently available from 7 am – 7 pm Pacific Time, Monday – Friday. No appointment is needed, all students have to do is send us a question via Live Tutor Chat.

Meet Our Online Tutors

In honor of the one-year Live Tutor Chat anniversary, we asked our current staff of online tutors to share their favorite tutoring moments as well as a short biography. Here’s what they had to say.

Nick Williams

My favorite tutoring moment came earlier this year when I walked a student through some complex macroeconomics scenarios using our interactive whiteboard. Sometimes explaining doesn’t do the trick so our online tutors have to get visual. I really enjoy sketching out ideas with students and then coming back to the chat to discuss misconceptions.

I was born in the midwest and, at the age of 10, relocated to Seattle in 1999. After graduating high school, I attended Williams College where I received a double major in Environmental Policy and Studio Art with a focus in Architecture and Sustainable Design. I began tutoring math and French Horn performance in my junior year of high school. This morphed slowly into a writing, editing, and graphic design business shortly after graduating college in 2011. Since then, I’ve lived abroad in South America, gained an M.Ed. in 2014 from Framingham State University. When I’m not tutoring, I enjoy teaching at a local independent school, biking, kayaking, and hiking in Mount Baker National Forest.

Randall Bettman

I don’t have a particular favorite moment in tutoring, but rather favorite subjects. If I am able to help a student work on a biology or chemistry problem, it makes my day. Lab assignments feel like problems that the student and I can approach and tackle together. I will often pepper in details to make some of the problems more interesting or real-world applicable, and being able to see the students’ “ah-hah!” moments is greatly rewarding.

Growing up in Silicon Valley, California is probably what gave me my propensity towards math and science. Finding solutions to all sorts of puzzles and problems has always been my biggest motivator, and led me biochemistry major at Washington State University. In helping my peers through organic chemistry and later college courses, I discovered that I not only loved knowing how things work but explaining and teaching those ideas to others. Joining the ALVS tutoring team was a no-brainer and I enjoy being able to help our students every single day. Outside of work, I love working with my hands (woodworking, various crafts, gardening, etc.), volleyball, powerlifting, cooking, chilling with my dog, and playing games with friends.

Sarah Floris

One of my favorite tutoring moments was working through the concept of an online avatar with a student enrolled in our Media Literacy course. I was able to connect the student’s experience with avatars by exploring how they use them in social media channels like Snapchat and Facebook. Thinking in terms of her own experience really helped the student understand the concept. It is so gratifying to connect with students and see them “get it”.

I lived half of my life in The Netherlands, where I was born and raised, and the other half in Texas. I went to a small university, about 2 hours west of Dallas, to study Chemistry. I moved up here for graduate school at the University of Washington, where earned a degree in Computational Chemistry in 2017. I once was that student who needed a lot of tutoring. When I was younger, I was born deaf and thus struggled a lot with understanding the Dutch language. Similarly, when I moved to the United States and barely knew any English, I struggled to comprehend the English language. I feared that I was not good enough a lot of the time, but having those tutors helped me get my skills up to par. These experiences taught me that it is okay to get help when I do not understand a concept and as a tutor, I hope to have a similar type of influence on students. Outside of tutoring, I enjoy coding, being outdoors, and playing video games.

Koissi Adjorlolo

My favorite tutoring moment from the past year is when neither the student nor I knew how to approach a particular physics problem.  We each suggested ways to approach the problem, and if one approach seemed promising we’d both try to arrive at a solution.  By the end of my shift we still hadn’t found the answer, but instead of becoming frustrated and giving up the student returned the next day and we were able to solve the problem together.

I was born and raised in Seattle, but I now live in Boston to study Computer Science and Mathematics at Northeastern University. In high school, I learned how helpful explaining difficult subjects to peers was to my own learning, and started regularly helping classmates with homework so I could better my understanding of the material. This experience with tutoring others led me to join ALVS last year as a tutor. When I’m not tutoring I enjoy playing soccer, playing chess, programming, and browsing Wikipedia.

James Bilderbeck

My favorite memory of tutoring this year was explaining and providing examples to a student who had trouble describing characters through showing without telling. This is an extremely interesting and crucial concept in writing and I provided examples excitedly of how to show a person’s character in writing. One way to express character is to write something such as, “Steven was angry,” but you could also write that “Steven stomped down the stairs, each step rattling the plates on the shelves.” The second sentence is much more interesting for the audience because it provides a vivid image and forces the audience to make an interpretation of what the character’s actions mean.

I grew up in southern California and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where I completed a double major in English and Communication, with a minor is Sociocultural Linguistics. I first started tutoring at Huntington Learning Center when I moved to Seattle and then joined the ALVS tutoring team one year ago. What I like about ALVS is that we were able to start from scratch to create a tutoring philosophy focused on helping students find the answers for themselves. When I’m not tutoring I spend my time coaching club soccer, playing guitar, or taking long walks in the park.

Nokware Knight

My absolute favorite thing about tutoring is that I essentially get paid to learn.