For the past two years, BSGE has had a peer tutoring program, where students seeking help in any subject can find an upperclassman willing to explain it to them. A lot of students were asking for individual help that their teachers could not provide during 8th period, so guidance counselor Tim David-Lang asked a few older students if they would be willing to help. According to Tim, the idea of “students helping students with schoolwork” was incredibly popular.
There are two methods for tutors and tutees to meet. If someone who wants help goes to the library on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between the end of school and 4:00 pm, he will probably be able to find at least one tutor willing to help, such as Michael Lembert ’17 or Nikhil Kumar ’18. Unfortunately, most students are either unaware that this option exists or refuse to use it. This leads to most of the tutors’ time spent waiting for someone to arrive asking for help. When asked what he would say to convince people to show up, Michael replied, “You may not want to admit it, but we can help you help yourself.” Even though there is much more waiting than tutoring for them, Michael and Nikhil have no plans to give up. Nikhil explained, “I feel like I’m obligated to help other people out because even if I couldn’t get the help, they deserve it.” If you need a one-time explanation on a topic you don’t understand, try finding a tutor in the library to explain.
The other method is more useful for someone who needs repeated help in a subject. Tutors can be matched with either a single tutee or a group, of their grade or any younger grade. Usually a group has two or three people, though one-on-one tutoring exists as well. Emily Costa ’17, a tutor for Claire Bergerson ’17 and Alice Pinho ’17, described why she joined. “It’s really important that people perform their best in their classes, and if I can help someone do that, why wouldn’t I want to?” Claire and Alice both agree that the tutoring has been very helpful for both of them, and would highly recommend it to anybody who needs help in any class.
Some people might be embarrassed to ask for help from peer tutors. However, there is really nothing to be embarrassed about. Nobody is strong in all subjects, and if this program is what you need to fully understand the material, then that makes it worth it.