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BookNook Review Summary
BookNook hires experienced US tutors in reading and math for online groups of 1-4 children. Applications are simple with no live interview, degrees are nonessential, and pay is above average, though background checks are required for each state, and some complain about the platform, training, and communication.
|Pay (per hour):||$15-22|
|Location / language requirements?||USA|
|Degree / diploma required?||No*|
|Teaching certificate required?||No|
|Adult / child students?||Children|
|Minimum hours (per week):||0|
BookNook Pros and Cons
- Above average pay
- Simple application process with just an application form and a one-way (not live) interview
- Will accept experience in lieu of qualifications
- Options for both math and reading teachers at levels K-8
- Only open to experienced US teachers/tutors
- Hours dependent on the number of state background checks undergone
- Teachers must pay up-front for each state background check, taking up to a month
- Must be comfortable tutoring groups
- Must be able to maintain a consistent weekly schedule
- Not much feedback available from existing tutors
Is BookNook Legit?
BookNook Learning is a legitimate online tutoring company that works with hundreds of schools and their districts across 35 US states, including Chicago Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and SFUSD. Founded in 2016, the company has helped tens of thousands of disadvantaged children improve their literacy as it continues to grow.
What is the BookNook program?
BookNook works with school district partners to provide critical math and reading skills for K-8 students from traditionally-disenfranchised communities who have been identified as needing support.
BookNook teaching is conducted online through Zoom and the company’s own platform that is accessible via a computer or tablet through the Chrome or Safari browser. A video tutorial and instructional webinars are provided to help new tutors learn the platform.
Lesson planning is done by the company, who provide over 950 standards-aligned lessons for the K-8 curriculum.
Children are grouped by skill level, not age, in classes of 1-4 students. BookNook tutors are free to select the skill and grade levels they are most comfortable teaching.
Here is a video overview from BookNook:
How Much Does BookNook Pay Tutors?
BookNook tutor pay ranges between US$15-22 an hour, depending on qualifications and experience, and with opportunities for bonuses.
BookNook salaries are paid twice a month via direct deposit. Tutors are independent contractors and will be provided with a 1099 form at the end of the calendar year to help file their self-employment taxes.
Seasonal and year-round Tutoring contracts offer a consistent weekly schedule with the same students, and tutors can select which dates and hours work best for them. However, the number of students is dependent on which schools teachers have access to, requiring background checks to be cleared for each state which can take up to a month. The greatest concentrations of BookNook students are currently in California, Texas, Florida and Maryland.
How Long is a BookNook Class?
BookNook tutoring sessions are 30-minutes long.
BookNook wants enthusiastic equity-minded educators who are passionate about their subject, are comfortable tutoring small groups online, and love working with K-8 students from diverse educational, racial, economic, geographic and cultural backgrounds.
To be considered, you must be a US resident and meet at least ONE of the following criteria:
- Possess 2-3 years of teaching/tutoring experience (without qualifications)
- Have a Bachelor’s degree with at least 1 year of teaching/tutoring experience
- Be in the final year of a teacher credentialing or education degree program, with at least 1 year of teaching/tutoring experience
You will also be expected to demonstrate how you meet the following person specification in your application and interview:
- You are passionate about working with all kinds of learners. You love seeing a child’s eyes light up when they master a new concept. You’re skilled at tailoring your teaching to different learning styles and needs. Every child feels your joy as you see it as a privilege to be able to show up and be present in the lives of your students.
- You excel at building meaningful connections with students from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds. You value the cultural assets, knowledge, and lived experiences that each child brings to tutoring sessions. You make learning meaningful by connecting it to students’ lives.
- You approach challenges with a growth mindset. Whether it’s a tech issue or a student struggling to master academic content, you are creative, resourceful, flexible, and resilient in the face of obstacles, setbacks, and unexpected events.
- You are an engaging and dynamic teacher. You know just what to do when students look away from the screen or indicate that they are bored, stuck, or disengaged from the lesson. You have multiple tricks up your sleeve that can re-engage even the most reluctant learners.
- You empower students to build on their strengths. You see the brilliance in every child, enjoy celebrating their progress and commit to supporting them through both challenges and successes.
- You are tech-savvy. You may not be the head of IT, but technology is your friend. You quickly find workarounds when faced with glitches, and aren’t daunted by simultaneously navigating Zoom, our learning platform, and multiple students with different learning needs.
- You’re inspired by BookNook’s mission and purpose. You believe in the power of innovative technology and an engaging curriculum combined with the personalized touch of a dedicated tutor.
While it is not necessary at the application stage, BookNook teachers do have to clear background checks for each US state they wish to teach students from, which can be challenging if you are located outside the country. The cost of this and finger-printing has to be borne by the teacher up-front, to be reimbursed later by the company.
How to Become a BookNook Teacher?
There are two main parts to the BookNook application process:
- Submit a 10-minute application form answering questions about your qualifications, schedule, and grade and subject preferences.
- Conduct a one-way video interview including a brief teaching demonstration.
Begin your application for BookNook tutoring jobs here by providing the following information:
- Submit your application:
- Apply with LinkedIn profile (optional)
- Attach resume/CV
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Current company
- LinkedIn URL
- Online Tutor Application:
- Are you a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident who is eligible to work in the United States? Yes/No
- Country where you currently reside
- Zip Code
- How much teaching OR tutoring experience do you have? BookNook requires at least 1 year.
- Do you have experience teaching (or tutoring) students online, either 1:1 or in small groups?
- Tutors rely on a video conferencing system (i.e. Zoom) and the BookNook Tutoring software during all tutoring sessions and will interact with both systems simultaneously. On a scale of 1-3, what is your level of comfort learning and using technology similar to this? (1=not at all comfortable, 3=extremely comfortable)
- What types of teaching/tutoring experiences have you had? Check all that apply.
- Teaching in a K-12 classroom
- Working in a support role in a K-12 school
- K-12 teaching credential
- Teaching for an online tutoring company
- ESL/TESOL certified
- Working in an after school program or summer camp
- Teaching/tutoring college-aged students
- AmeriCorps experience
- Tell us (in a few sentences) about your teaching experience overall, including any online teaching experience (If this experience is not listed on the resume you uploaded, please include length of time and age of students that you taught/tutored).
- What inspires you to want to tutor with BookNook and support the reading and/or math growth of students behind grade level? (please write a brief, 3-5 sentence answer)
- What assets and lived experiences do you bring that will help you connect with students from different educational, cultural, racial, economic and geographic backgrounds? (please write a brief, 3-5 sentence answer)
- What is the highest level of education you’ve completed?
- Are you currently enrolled in an education degree or teaching credential program?
- Are you currently or have you ever been certified to teach K-12?
- What grade levels do you have experience teaching or tutoring?
- What grade levels are you interested in tutoring?
- K-2nd grades
- 3rd-5th grades
- 6th-8th grades
- 9th-12th grades
- Why did you choose the grade levels in the question above?
- What subjects are you comfortable tutoring? Math and/or reading
- Are you fluent in Spanish?
- List any additional languages in which you are fluent.
- How many hours per week do you want to tutor for BookNook?
- What seasonal availability do you have? School Year and/or summer
- What time zone will you be predominantly tutoring from?
- What times of day are you generally available to tutor? Check all that apply.
- Mornings (8am-12pm)
- Afternoons (12pm-4pm)
- Evenings (4pm-8pm)
- Will you be able to ensure that you have a working computer and a stable wifi connection in the location(s) you will be tutoring from?
- How soon can you start tutoring? Provide a date and any important details about your availability.
- Is there any additional information you would like to provide about your availability and scheduling needs?
- Additional Information:
- Add a cover letter or anything else you want to share.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Information
- Veteran status
- Demographic Survey
- What is your location?
- Tick whether ‘BookNook can contact me about future job opportunities for up to 6 months’
It will take up to 5 business days for BookNook to review your application and let you know whether you have been invited for a BookNook interview.
BookNook uses a one-way video interview system on Spark Hire, where you will watch pre-recorded questions and have time to compose and record your responses. Here are some examples of BookNook interview questions that were asked of previous candidates:
- Tell me about yourself.
- How would you deal with students that say the lesson is boring?
- How do you deal with students who aren’t paying attention during a lesson?
- How does a teacher’s mindset affect students’ growth and achievement?
You will also have to give a 3-minute teaching demonstration towards the end of the interview.
BookNook’s final hiring decision is usually emailed within a further 5 business days.
BookNook Learning Reviews – Is BookNook a Good Place to Work?
The BookNook Glassdoor page gives the company an averaged rating of 4.2 out of 5, with 71% willing to recommend them (at the time of writing). However, the majority of these BookNook reviews come from employees at the company, and the few opinions from tutors there are more mixed, praising the remote work, lack of micromanagement, and flexibility, while criticizing the training, platform, communication, and consistency of work:
This BookNook Reddit thread similarly discusses the lack of clear official communication outside of BookNook Facebook groups:
In this video, Teacher Latoya shares her initial experience of BookNook and the idiosyncrasies of its platform:
Conclusion – Is BookNook Worth It?
With a relatively quick and simple initial application process, an above average pay rate, and no minimum hours commitment, there is little risk in giving BookNook a try if you are an experienced US tutor. However, some teachers might get frustrated with the platform and level of training and communication, while bookings are not guaranteed and are dependent on clearing background checks for multiple states, which takes additional time and bureaucracy and is more challenging for Americans living or traveling outside the country.
You can apply for BookNook Learning jobs here.
A full list of online teaching companies can be found here.