PVS Students Create Tutoring Club
High School Tutors is a student-formed and student-led organization that was established in late March 2020 soon after PVS transitioned to a fully remote platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While a number of high school students were able to smoothly transition to the new format, they became aware from conversations with teachers and other families that some of the younger students were finding the transition difficult, both in terms of the learning process as well as in terms of overcoming the technological hurdles that the new format presented. The organization was thus formed as a project aimed toward catering to the needs of those students and families who needed extra help while lessening the burden on the teachers during a difficult and stressful time.
After recruiting a number of high school students to volunteer, posts on ParentSquare and emails were sent out to the entire school community letting other students and parents know that there were high school students willing to either tutor students in particular subject areas or help guide students or their parents through the technological challenges that they were facing.
At the beginning, the organization worked to pair individual tutors with individual students and then those two would meet through various online mediums on a regular basis. Tutors were found to work with students in all subject areas and for all grade levels. The majority of students seeking tutoring were however seeking help in math and thus when school reconvened for the new school year (2020-2021) and PVS remained virtual, the High School Tutors group worked to set up a dedicated Math Help Desk.
In addition to the individualized sessions, the organization now has a dedicated zoom link that is open every weekday from 4:45 to 5:30 with an additional Friday session from 11:30 to 12:20. With the Math Help Desk, a number of students who had not previously signed up to have an assigned tutor now show up to get help on that day’s math assignment. Sometimes, breakout rooms are utilized to help multiple students at the same time. Having the dedicated Math Help Desk has thus increased the number of students receiving services from the organization.
The peer tutoring structure has benefitted both the tutors as well as the students receiving the tutoring. Some of the tutors have noted that in addition to the rewards they gain from knowing that they are assisting others, they find that through tutoring they themselves come to a deeper understanding of the concepts that they are teaching.
While the organization was founded with the explicit purpose of helping students during the situation presented by the pandemic, there is a plan to continue the organization even after PVS returns to in-school teaching and learning.