Tutoring is More Than it “Apeers”

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Ava Rose Weisberg, Contributor

Of all the wonderful things about The King’s Academy, what stands out to the student body most prominently is the dedication of its teachers in ensuring that their classes excel. Whether that means staying after school to host help classes or providing accommodations via the Learning Strategies program, TKA exemplifies Luke 15:4, making sure that even if ninety-nine students understand a concept, one lost student will be pursued until he, too understands, and the biggest way that this is made possible at King’s is through the free, student-led Peer Tutoring program.

Suppose a teacher has excellent visual methods of explaining a concept, but you are more of a kinesthetic learner, or maybe your teacher is open to explaining things in a new way, but you’re too nervous to raise your hand in class when everyone else seems to be understanding just fine (chances are, everyone else is too nervous to raise their hands, too, but it certainly does seem that way in the moment). Maybe your teacher has even offered to do a help class after school, but what you really need is a fresh perspective, potentially from someone a bit less intimidating than a teacher, and with a new way of explaining things. If you can relate to any of the above, then Peer Tutoring is for you. It is free, it is fun, and there is a full staff of high school students prepared to provide you with clarification on whatever you’re struggling with. Every Tuesday and Thursday afterschool from 3:15 PM-4:15 PM, the Peer Tutors are hard at work helping with study guides, worksheets, and proof-reading important papers. Since Peer Tutoring has no sign-up, students can walk in at any time within this time block and be paired with a tutor of high academic repute. Usually, tutoring is one-on-one with an upperclassman that specializes in the topic being tutored, but study groups can also be formed, with multiple tutors and peers working together on the same subject. Further, if a student receives clarification early on in the time block, they are not required to stay until the end of the time block, giving the student more time to work on his other homework independently. Essentially, Peer Tutoring is for individuals, and all participants receive help especially for them on their own terms, so that the tutoring service is accessible for everyone, and no one falls behind.

Surprisingly, these after school study sessions have taught the tutors a lot, as well. For one, looking back at old material is a good refresher for the tutors, especially in subjects that build upon themselves over the years, such as English or Math. Being a Peer Tutor is also beneficial to participants because tutors are given one hour of community service for every day they tutor, which is about eight hours a month. Beyond the academic, however, being a Peer Tutor has helped high schoolers to gain deeper appreciation for their teachers. “The challenges of helping just one student understand a concept has really given me respect for teachers that can get an entire classroom of students to understand something,” says high school senior and Peer Tutor Rachel Hobbs, “so I think this program definitely helps us to appreciate our teachers a lot more.” Emma Marks, a junior at TKA and also a Peer Tutor, also seconds that, additionally bringing up the important point that the ability that teachers have to quickly come up with different ways of explaining things on the fly to their class is truly remarkable. Finally, Peer Tutors learn leadership from one another, as new members of the tutoring staff are filled in by long-standing members on how the program workers and what is expected of them in the program.

After looking at all the wonderful benefits of being a Peer Tutor, one might hesitate to join or sign up because of a busy schedule, but have no fear, for weekly attendance is not mandatory, rather, the tutoring staff and the students who attend to receive tutoring only have to attend when it does not interfere with pre-existing commitments or conflicting meetings, rehearsals, or practices from other extracurricular and after-school activity that would make attendance unfeasible, for the Peer Tutoring program is grounded in respect and understanding of others’ time, and strives above all else to be accessible for both tutors and peers. So, if I haven’t already made this abundantly clear, whether you are looking for help or looking to help others, Peer Tutoring is para tú (and if you don’t know what that means, you may want to come after school for some extra help in Spanish).