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Changing the conversation from ‘I don’t know’ to ‘Wow, I found it!’

What does it take to build confidence for life? Paper™ tutor Fathima shares an in-depth look at how to cultivate self-assurance for students who initially feel uncertain about their abilities.


We’ve all had our share of “wow!” moments in life—from that instant you realized you could turn your house broom into a “Harry Potter” Firebolt to finally being able to do that minute-long plank that has always seemed challenging. 

Most of these wow moments don’t come out of the blue—the real joy comes from seeing the result of your patience and consistent effort. And for Paper tutors, our wow moments revolve around the amazing students who log in to Paper every day.

Empowering students with the Paper Method

To meet and greet students where they are is our motto as Paper tutors. We understand that each child is different and that they approach learning in various ways. Some students need more time to understand concepts, for instance, while others need examples and illustrations to visualize ideas better. Some learners may need constant encouragement to build up perseverance while others may only require occasional reassurance to instill confidence.

In all these scenarios, the easiest solution would be giving the answers to students directly—but that wouldn’t create a learning experience. Instead, we would rather hold students’ hands and walk together with them as they navigate difficult learning moments. All in all, Paper tutors believe in the power of self-discovery.

The journey from ‘I don’t know’ to applying the Paper Method

For a student who finds it difficult to comprehend a formula or definition taught in class, the homework probably feels frustrating and confusing. As tutors, we often have students come up to us after long, tiring days at school and tell us that they don’t understand a concept at all. In such scenarios, we apply the Paper methodology in this way:

  • We take diligent care to first understand the student's background knowledge and the information they already have at hand. This is important for us to be able to step into their shoes and help them in ways they’re familiar with.
  • We then patiently work with students by asking them related inquiry-based questions to help them parse through the problem themselves. We sometimes provide hints when they feel stuck at a particular step.
  • This process can also involve providing them with simpler examples and nudging their curiosity via whiteboard illustrations.

Although it sometimes seems like a long process, tutors make a special effort and provide constant encouragement to ensure that our students feel heard and are motivated to stay with us throughout this journey.

Reaching the wow moment

Students reach the wow moment toward the end of our conversations when they realize that their efforts haven’t been in vain. They’re excited about their ability to grasp concepts, and they suddenly realize they knew how to complete the problem all along. It brings us immense joy to witness their transformation as assertive learners!

Adopting the Paper Method for lifelong learning

We strongly believe that the Paper Method, explained above, empowers students and ensures more effective learning in turn. Besides this, the Paper method also teaches students the importance of patience and perseverance during difficult times. In the long term, this prepares them for the challenges the world has for them by increasing their self-confidence in times of adversity. 

Paper’s tutors are proud to continue our efforts of making education accessible and enjoyable to all, supporting countless students in their long-term learning journeys.

Headshot-Circle_Fathima

Fathima, Paper Tutor

Paper supports students and educators in school districts by providing unlimited, 24/7, and multilingual Live Help and Review Center support.
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About Paper

Paper partners with school districts to deliver 1:1 tutoring that is equitable, scalable, and cost-effective. Students get unlimited 24/7 live help and writing feedback, teachers get insights to tackle individual learning gaps, and administrators get actionable data to inform strategic decisions. Paper’s multilingual tutors add an extra layer of support across all content areas and grade levels, in and out of the classroom—so students always have access to expert help exactly when, where, and how they need it.

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