In Need of a Tutor?
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, many students across the nation have continued to learn remotely and adapt to the virtual environment. Attending Google Meets, submitting assignments on time, and interacting with peers and teachers online has become the new norm for American students. Thus, maintaining grades, learning new material, and finding motivation can be difficult.
To help students with their academics in the community, NHS senior Kaitlin Mui has developed a new tutoring program, “that aims to help students in our community without risking the spread of Covid-19.” In an interview with Kaitlin, she explained her inspiration to develop the program, the main goals of the program, different services that are provided to students, and how it has helped students during this difficult time.
Before developing her new program, Kaitlin explained that she had participated in peer tutoring in the past and continued to tutor throughout high school. Therefore, she was inspired by her past years of tutoring to develop her new program. However, due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, the program was shifted to a virtual format. “When we started to quarantine and we quickly shifted to a virtual platform, it was hard to tutor kids in person so I wanted to find a way to offer tutoring services to students in our district,” Kaitlin said. Thus, she developed an idea and decided “to make it [the tutoring] all volunteer work because in times of a pandemic, it can be hard as a high school student to earn volunteer hours without risking spreading Covid-19.”
As the program has grown over the past months, Kaitlin said that “the number one goal is to help younger students who are struggling in school especially because of the change from in person learning to virtual learning.” To help younger students with their academics, the program offers two different services - individual and group tutoring. Group tutoring allows for small groups of students and tutors to meet one day of the week to attend a group tutoring session. Kaitlin said, “I think that it’s effective in ways that can help a lot of students at once and sometimes a group setting might feel more comfortable for some students.” She stated that the administrative team helped a lot with the development of the program and “couldn’t have done it without them.”
If a student would like to have a tutor, Kaitlin explained that “they [can] contact Mrs. Pasquale and/or Mrs. Gerckens (in the NHS School Counseling office). Then I’m given the student’s information and I match them with a tutor and then I notify the tutor about their match.” Hence, students have different sources they can use to join the program and receive help from a tutor.
With tutoring other students, working, and focusing on school work, time management can be difficult for Kaitlin and other tutors. Kaitlin shared that balancing her school work, job, college work, tutoring position and job was challenging at first, but became easier once the program was finalized. “I think the one thing that kept me going was my want to help others and feel like I am contributing to my community,” she remarked.
Although the tutoring program has been available for a short period of time, Kaitlin and the NHS administration have high hopes for the program's future. “I don’t think I can judge how much it has helped students yet, although I really hope it has been a big help to many students,” she said. Kaitlin also mentioned that she and Mr. Materia have spoken about the program helping more students and continuing into the future. Finally, if elementary, middle or high school students in the community would like to join the program, they can contact Mrs. Pasquale or Mrs. Gerckens.