Article by Aidan Feskorn, Student Journalist for Minarets Press
Media by Abigail Campbell, Student Journalist for Minarets Press
A new peer tutoring program at Minarets High School puts other students into classrooms and allows students to receive peer-to-peer assistance. The program has shown good outcomes at other schools, but its effect at Minarets remains to be seen.
Program organizer Jennifer Garner discussed the nature of the program in an interview.
“It’s something that’s been talked about at Minarets for a few years but never got implemented,” she told us. “Initially it was a student’s SLE, and I had peer tutor programs at other schools I worked at, so I was very excited to get it started.” She elaborated on the success and promise of the program, calling it an evidence-based practice. “…there’s data to back up its effectiveness. Teens learn better from other teens, they learn more from watching their peers than from watching their teachers. Students will go into the classroom and help anyone that needs it. We put the kids in the classes they’re familiar with, so we won’t put a kid in a chemistry class if that kid isn’t familiar with chemistry.”
She elaborated on the origins of the program and how its effect has carried on for many people.
“When I was in high school, I was in a peer tutoring program, and that encouraged me to become a teacher. I was able to help students both at the high school and elementary level, and it was amazing. Seeing those students years later that I helped when they were in either elementary or high school really touched my heart, and it’s something I’ve always held on to. We have other teachers in the district and county that were in peer tutoring programs when they were in high school. Principal Jessica Fairbanks over at Spring Valley was in a high school peer tutoring program, so it’s definitely helped people go into work in education.”
Garner says that the program holds promise, and details how it will most likely show good results given time using the evidence gathered from other schools.
“There are tons of benefits for the person being tutored: increased academic achievement, increased attendance, increased self-esteem, but there’s also a lot of benefits for the kid that’s tutoring. You learn empathy, you learn how to help people, you learn about your own strengths and weaknesses as well. Ideally, I’d like to see peer tutors in every class across the board, maybe replacing the SPC with a peer
tutor that’ll go around and help all the students that need it and give the students the support they need.”
The peer tutor program already shows potential in the classes it’s been implemented in and it will be exciting to see how it progresses throughout the year.
Link to video: https://youtu.be/50gbIMpQwDA