EHHS's New Peer Tutoring Course
After many years and hard work with the help of the English Department instructional leader Mrs. Veleas, there finally is a Peer Tutoring course at EHHS!
The peer tutor class, taught by Mrs. Lisa Gardner, teaches and trains students to operate the writing center and help peers with specific writing issues. Peer tutoring benefits not only the writers but also the tutors themselves. EHHS English teacher Mrs. Lisa Gardner states that “The tutors get to work on their people skills, help contribute to their community by aiding other students, build their resume, make them a better writer, learning to be a good collaborator, gain interpersonal skills, improve writing because they will see different kinds of writing. For the kids who are going to the tutors for help, this will benefit them by working and meeting other kids, having someone else to go to for help instead of a teacher during office hours because sometimes students find going to another student more approachable than teachers. Peers can explain things in a way teachers can't.” The inspiration behind why this course was created was actually from EHHS English teacher Mr. Doug Gardner. Mr. Gardner had always wanted a writing center for students. He always felt that it would be a good resource for students to have: to be able to come out of a study hall and get support on writing assignments. Unfortunately, there was never enough staff to do that every period, even though many students have difficulty with writing. Mr. Gardner states,“¨I have been pushing for a writing center for years because I think it helps students who maybe don't know how to create a thesis or flow for their paper, a lot of people worry about asking their teacher help they'll judge you or your showing them you don't know what your doing and this way you can get more guidance then critiques.” After some time, the English Department Instructional leader, Mrs. Veleas got contacted UCONN and was fascinated by their student-run writing center after having a meeting with them it sparked a new great idea. Mrs. Veleas said, “This will not just support writing in the building but to build student leadership and give students an opportunity to practice their own writing skills by helping others to write better and what perfect way to start after the introduction the new vision of the graduate where it gives students an opportunity to demonstrate citizenship in the building, step up and lead things and just a good way to put all those things together.” To become a peer tutor student you have to sign up for the Writing Center Tutoring Course, which is where Mrs. Gardner is currently teaching and training students. Then the following year you will be assigned a block in the writing center helping kids who need it during that block or potentially pushing them into classrooms. Students can sign up on their own or teachers can sign students up for them to receive help. You can also receive community service and the class can be taken for capstone or mastery-based diploma assessment credit. The class is open to anyone with a teacher recommendation.
Junior Faith Papa explains how her currents experiences and why she wanted to join the course, “My experience has been good so far, I feel like I have been strengthening my own writing and learning how to tutor others which is why I took the class to begin with, definitely because of the lessons and how to interact with the students we are teaching or tutoring, techniques that can improve our own writing. I'm excited to work with students next year. I wanted to do it because it would strengthen my own writing and also I think it's a good resource for all students because instead of going to a teacher and asking for help you can get help from another student which can ease some anxiety.” Sophomore Nicholas Vocatura recommends this course to other EHHS students saying, “We can always use more tutors because the tutors we have will eventually graduate and why not it cost no money to be a peer tutor it will capstone, and it will help others and give you a job to fall back on in college. Qualities a peer tutor should have are patient, inquisitive, ask questions instead of giving them the answers, guiding them and pushing them in the right direction, make peer feel comfortable, accepted and welcomed.”
So in the meantime, while we wait for our future peer tutors to be ready to tutor you can still receive help on your writing from EHHS's two English teachers Mr.Garnder and Mrs. Sengstaken, who are in the writing center, you can sign up in FlexTime manager to see their availability. EHHS student Charlize Santiago said, “I've had a really good experience, I worked with Mr. Gardner on how to write an apes response, He really helped me understand how to write my assertion all the way up to summing it up, I definitely recommend the writing center to other EHHS students.” If you ever need help with writing sign up for the writing center and if you're interested in being a peer tutor sign up Writing Center Tutoring Course, for more information email Mrs. Gardner, your guidance counselor, and check out the flyers posted around the building.