By Claire Webster
Peer Tutoring is an organization here at Bellbrook High School created by Mrs. Rivero that helps students get extra academic help from their peers during the school day.
How did it start?
There are many students here at BHS who go to peer tutoring during their study halls to get the help that they need to achieve better grades. Math teacher Mrs. Rivero created this organization because “all students have eight periods and one [is a] study hall, so it seemed natural to have peer tutoring available throughout the day.” Currently there are 32 peer tutors who volunteer up to five hours a week during their study hall periods in various math and science teachers’ classrooms. Some peer tutors are assigned to the Learning Lab where students with IEPs go to work in a quiet environment and get help on assignments and homework.
One of the benefits is that peer tutoring gives students access to peers that can help them understand difficult concepts. According to Mrs. Tompkins, intervention specialist, “It is helpful for students to have help from peers who in many cases are familiar with the material because they have had first-hand experience with similar projects and assignments.”
The other benefit is that it helps students emotionally because their peer tutors can encourage them to do better, and give them a self esteem boost. Mrs. Schultz, intervention specialist, said, “Students who struggle academically often have low self esteem so saying hi in the hall, sitting by them at lunch, or a high five in the hallway are also great boosters emotionally which would help them academically.” It also gives students who need help more confidence because they know it’s okay to ask for help. The peers will sit next to students who tend to struggle with their school work so the student isn’t staring at their work, unsure of what to do.
The students’ grades also go up as they are getting help because those students are getting extra that they might not get in class, on assignments, or homework. According to Mrs. Tompkins, “Students do see better grades when they work with peer tutors and benefit from the additional practice and reteaching of concepts.”
Even though peer tutors can help students achieve higher grades, peer tutors can also help students become more organized. Mrs. Schultz said peer tutors can help with “modeling how they keep their [own] information organized, or just going through papers with a disorganized student and helping them decide what is important and what can be eliminated. This is especially helpful with freshmen.” This way students can keep track of assignments that they need to work on or need extra help with. Mrs. Schultz noted, “We love our peer tutors and our students do too!”