Developed by Upper School Math teacher Ms. McLean and Grade 11 student Kaan, this weekly program provides a way for Upper School students to make a difference to their learning community by offering Math tutoring and support to their peers.
In recognition of their participation in this program, the February Spotlight on Service features students Talya (Grade 9), Emily, Logan, and Kai (Grade 10), Kaan, Julia, Mabel, Kerem, Martina, Farida, and Izzy (Grade 11), and Mohamed, Meghna, and Mehmet (Grade 12). Here, Ms. McLean and Kaan tell us more about this impactful new program:
How did the idea for the Math Peer Tutoring Program come about?
Ms. McLean: In late September, I was hoping to start up Peer Tutoring and Kaan was looking to do some community service using his Math skills. Ms. Lloyd put us in touch and that was the beginning!
Kaan: The idea for this program came from my desire to use my knowledge to help students with their schoolwork. Math has always been my favorite subject and I know that many students, especially younger students just getting into high school, struggle with Math. I wanted to set up this program to give a platform for students like me who are passionate about Math to help other students with the subject, as well as a platform for the students who want to improve their skills in Math and become more passionate about the subject.
What are your goals for the program?
Ms. McLean: The goal is two-fold. One is to help students improve their Math learning. The other is for students to give service to the school community with their Math talents. One fun by-product is that we have had some time to study some Math competition problems. Also, it is a nice way to meet students from other classes and year groups.
Kaan: Our goal is to set up consistent times for students to receive help with their Math every week and give students with a passion for Math an opportunity to serve their community. We envision having this program as part of a greater Math Club that will also give students the opportunity to compete in Math competitions.
How do you identify students who would like to serve as peer tutors, and how are they matched with students who would like tutoring?
Ms. McLean: Students may be encouraged by their Math teachers to become tutors, but anyone who feels they could help and encourage a fellow student in Math is welcome to volunteer. We have guidelines for the peer tutors, and it is important that they are reliable and punctual. Peer tutors cannot be judgemental; they need to be supportive and friendly. I match students with tutors based on their Math background. So far, the pairings have been productive. If anyone feels there has been a mismatch, they should let us know. I am always on hand during the tutoring sessions if a tutor needs help or if students require extra resources. It is a strength to make the choice to get tutoring. You don’t have to be failing to have a peer tutor. A tutor can give any student a boost and help you to become more confident in Math. Math can get tougher in the Second Semester, so it is a good time to get involved. Also, a tutor can help you get prepared for next year’s Math.
What has been the most rewarding part of this program?
Kaan: The most rewarding part of the program is seeing students break through in their understanding of concepts with which they struggled for a long time.
What are the future plans for the Math Peer Tutoring Program?
Ms. McLean: We have a few things we are considering. One is to get the tutors together to compete in a Math competition. We are hoping to do some special lessons for tutors to prepare. We are also thinking about looking at topics that many students find difficult and running special sessions to help students learn these topics better.
The Math Peer Tutoring Program meets from 11:55 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each Wednesday in Oak Court 2.