Volunteer & Co-op Information

Acrylic sign with Physics Tutorial Centre Logo

The Physics Tutorial Centre operates smoothly thanks to the dedicated oversight of one or two co-op students each term who supervise the Centre during all operating hours. While under the general guidance of the Physics Tutorial Centre Director and Manager, the day-to-day operations are managed by the co-op student Coordinator. This Coordinator collaborates closely with department representatives to coordinate and schedule volunteer tutors, ensuring that students receive consistent and effective academic support.

We have two types of positions available for students: Paid Co-op Coordinators (fully funded by donors and SAFA) and Volunteer Tutors (flexible hours for students wishing to have a lower commitment). Information about each type of opportunity is provided below.

Any and all inquiries about the Physics Tutorial Centre should go to phystut@uwaterloo.ca.

Volunteer Positions

The Department is always looking for volunteer tutors for each term. Typical operating hours for the Tutorial Centre are Mondays to Fridays from 4-7pm, with additional hours based on tutor and instructor availability. The finalized schedule will be released in the 2nd or 3rd week of classes.

We are seeking volunteers who can commit to 2-3 hours per week (or more) in a supervised environment dedicated to supporting 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students in Physics and Mathematics courses. Additional courses may be supported depending on tutor availability.

Volunteers at the Physics Tutorial Centre will enjoy complimentary snacks when available. Furthermore, incentives include an end-of-term appreciation event, a certificate of hours volunteered, and free swag based on how many hours were contributed.

We look forward to receiving your application and working together to enhance student learning within our Department!

Co-op Positions

We offer co-op positions for Tutorial Centre Coordinator & Teaching Assistant every term with the support of donations and Student Awards & Financial Aid. Every term, the Department of Physics & Astronomy seeks 1-2 students enrolled in a departmental program to assist in coordinating, supervising, and enhancing the Physics Tutorial Centre for undergraduate Physics courses. This role involves collaborating closely with the Tutorial Centre Director and Manager to oversee and maintain a roster of upper-year volunteers, graduate students, and instructors available at designated times throughout the week. This ensures that lower-year students receive comprehensive support during Tutorial Centre operating hours.

The student will be responsible for managing and supervising the Physics Tutorial Centre's daily operations, which typically run from 2-7pm, five days a week. Additional responsibilities include administrative tasks during remaining hours. These tasks involve a wide range of activities that involve advancement, recruitment, data analysis, communications, and scheduling.

Please check WaterlooWorks for available postings or contact Dr. Brenda Lee (Tutorial Centre Director) for co-op opportunities.

Tutor Responsibilities

As a volunteer tutor, you are seen as a mentor and invaluable resource by many of your peers. With that comes several responsibilities that include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Arrive on time to tutoring sessions based on your provided availabilities and scheduled times
  • Create an inclusive learning environment
  • Maintain a respectful atmosphere in the Physics Tutorial Centre
  • Stay focused on the subject mater and be patient with students
  • Remind students to sign in and out of the Tutorial Centre as we need to collect statistics on the number of visits and our impact
  • Tailor your assistance to meet individual student needs and understanding
  • Review and reinforce key learning points and effective note-taking techniques with students
  • Pose leading questions to assess and enhance student comprehension - don't do the work for the student
  • Always respect an instructor's limitations when it comes to homework and assignments and be careful not to provide solutions or do someone's work for them

Tutor Perks & Swag

As our Physics Tutorial Centre evolves, we try to provide our volunteers with an enjoyable experience. We've held pizza parties at the end of the term, and have recently started offering snacks for volunteers while they are supporting students. Apart from that, we have started making certificates for all volunteers and implemented an awards system for volunteers who exceed a certain number of hours on a term-by-term (non-cumulative) basis. Check out some of the swag we've offered below - they cannot be purchased, and only earned by our dedicated volunteers!