Students Should Get Involved in Peer Tutoring

A student stares at blank answers. His tutor explains it a bit, and the two of them finish the problem together. They then start chatting about Katy Perry’s latest music video because they both love Katy Perry. No, this isn’t a middle-aged parent trying to relive his high school years; this is peer tutoring, and it is underutilized.
Everyone has an academic strength as well as a weakness. Even for a math genius, writing an English paper could very well be like writing in a foreign language. Thus, tutoring is the great leveller when it comes to academics; one student’s weakness is another student’s strength.
Students should thus tutor more, whether it’s through AVID or the tutorial center or just lending a hand because it’s beneficial to both parties.
“A lot of people don’t learn in a [lecture] … They get distracted or they miss a couple of words and they’re lost,” math teacher Carol Evans said. “But they work really well one-on-one … You’re just dealing with what their struggle points are. Classroom of 30, it’s hard to see where people of struggling. But one-on-one? No problem.”
Being a tutor requires very little time commitment from the student. All a student has to do is to sign up for it as a class. Although it takes an entire period, most who tutor find tutoring to be rather flexible.
“You have to give up a period, but it’s not that bad,” junior Trisha Vaidyanathan said. “When there isn’t someone to tutor, you get to do your homework.”
However, for such little investment, peer tutoring pays for itself by helping the tutor grow. Students should tutor others because it forces students to revisit subjects they might have forgotten. Such critical thinking results with a deeper and broader understanding on the behalf of the tutor.
“[Being a peer tutor] actually helps me review a lot,” Trisha said. “I tutor subjects I took before, and sometimes I forgot. So when you tutor it, you’re forced to remember.”
Above all, tutoring helps not only the tutor and the student, but tutoring makes schools what they’re supposed to be, a place of curiosity and creativity, not obedience and conformity.
“[There is] this chance to bond and work with younger students. It’s fun,” history teacher Christa Wemmer said. “I see different types of students that wouldn’t normally meet or be friends, and I’ve seen them eat lunch together.”
It’s time students take an active role in the academic success of their school. It is no longer possible for students to remain apathetic. With the school’s plummeting API scores, an individual’s success or failure will affect others.
“It’s a way to promote ‘we’re all in this together.’ And we are,” Evans said. “Ultimately, if we let people who struggle fail, what’s going to happen? Who’s paying for that? You are. Where if you offer them some help now, and you take some people who haven’t had the same great experiences, we can reach out to them.”
Starting with lending a helping hand to those who need it, students who tutor can begin the long process of learning which ultimately ends with successful students and a stronger community.