08 Apr CTOWN SPOTLIGHT: PEER TUTORING BY JILL JOSEPH ROZA

If someone told me as a high school freshman that there was a place where I could work with an upperclassman on some chemistry concepts I was struggling with, I would have treated it just like my private piano lessons and conveniently been absent when the time would come to meet with my instructor.  The thought of having to expose my weaknesses to an upperclassman was just plain scary, and my fear trumped the positive side that tutoring might provide me with the help I needed.

 

Celina ISD opened the CTOWN Tutoring Center in the fall of 2011, with a faculty consisting entirely of teachers employed with the district.  The following year, the district added peer tutors working in the math and science centers. Walking into CTOWN today,  you will find CHS students selected to tutor their peers covering all curriculum areas. Each year, the number of students requesting jobs at CTOWN continues to rise, giving students coming to the center for tutoring a multitude of different options.

 

CHS Faculty members recommend students who have extensive knowledge and background of a subject matter to work at CTOWN as peer tutors.  These students also completed upper level course work, have a servant’s heart to help others and are in excellent academic standing.

 

CHS Junior Novin Abdi started attending CTOWN as a freshman and worked with peer tutors during her freshman and sophomore years.  She jumped at the chance to become a peer tutor this year.  When asked why, she said, “I like getting to know the underclassmen and helping them with the same things I struggled with as an underclassman. Plus, I like the friendships that have formed at CTOWN through my tutoring.”

 

CHS 2015 Valedictorian Heidi Raymond worked as a peer tutor at CTOWN for two years.

 

“Peer tutoring at CTOWN taught me that people learn in all kinds of different ways,” Heidi said. “Just because the way I explain something makes sense to one person, doesn’t mean the next person who sits down for tutoring will understand it in the same way.  Knowing this has helped me in college, because it made me more understanding of others needs and learning styles.”

 

CTOWN peer tutors are counseled to be more empathic towards those they are tutoring.  If a student is coming to you for help, more than likely they are experiencing some level of anxiety about the subject matter. Tutors are coached to refrain from using phrases such as, “This is easy.”  Peer tutors are also asked to teach students “how to learn,” and not to do it for them. CTOWN stresses that good tutoring is based on mutual respect and trust, without an attitude of condescension.

 

CHS seniors Michael and Jared Jensen both started working at CTOWN this year and are kept busy in the math and science centers.  Jared commented that he likes how the kids want to be there to receive help and get better grades.

 

“When they are optimistic to learn and to improve, it makes for a better experience,” Jared said.

 

One underclassman who worked with both Michael and Jared walked out of the math center declaring that he finally “got it,” and said to his friend, “Wow, they are really smart and could still explain it to me, so I could understand.”

 

Whether you are struggling with a concept or just have a question that needs to be clarified, your CTOWN peer tutors are available to help ease any anxiety you may be feeling. Just like the old cartoon character Underdog use to say, “There’s no need to fear, CTOWN Peer Tutors are here!”

 

Whether you are struggling with a concept or just have a question that needs to be clarified, your CTOWN peer tutors are available to help ease any anxiety you may be feeling. Just like the old cartoon character Underdog use to say, “There’s no need to fear, CTOWN Peer Tutors are here!”