What is peer tutoring? And what do they do?
March 31, 2012
The program is expanding rapidly at Harding High School. It all started in a room with the abbreviation of “TLC.”
But what does TLC stand for? “Too Lazy Center”? “Tender Loving Care”? It stands for “Tutorial Learning Center.” A room where there are students that are able to help other students.
The idea was brought up by a teacher who is known to be Mr. Wittgenstein. At first he didn’t believe that other staff members at Harding would agree due to the budget cuts, and only thought of it as an idea.
“Budget cuts, budget cuts, budget cuts! Class sizes were bigger and teachers were overwhelming themselves,” Mr. Wittgenstein said.
But there were supporters such as Erika Huss, Didi Malaga, and many others.
The idea started kicking in when a large number of students were signing up for Teacher Assistant, T.A, and that’s when Mr. Wittgenstein realized that “we should use the talent that is available.”
The idea was then approved and there were three different ways to approach the idea.
They could send some peer tutors to the same classrooms, send one of them to a classroom for one on one help, or keep the peer tutors in the TLC room.
He decided to do all of the ideas. As first semester arrived, there were only about 25 students who signed up for peer tutoring, but as second semester kicked in there were 51 students.
“The Program has started to gain acceptance,” said Mr. Wittgenstein.
Peer tutoring is rife in the area of benefits. There’s the student helping student, supporting learning, supporting students, and improving teaching.
The only side effect is that sometimes the peer tutors have too much time to themselves because no student comes in to receive help.
But “most of the students that are in here are great students and are calm and do their own homework,” said Mr. Wittgenstein.
Teachers need to use the Peer tutors more. The idea is for them to grow more and get acceptance from teachers. The goal is to promote learning and for every student to graduate and understand what he or she is doing, but that is not happening.
“We need to improve how we are doing it. I think in the future we will have more peer tutors in the classrooms,” said Mr. Wittgenstein.