Math lab to provide peer tutoring, one-on-one help

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Students wanting extra help in math are welcome to and attend a tutoring session during homeroom on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Those interested must sign up using the corresponding QR code above. “This is such a great resource any student can utilize,” math teacher Amanda Bell said. “It helps students build bonds with one another and aspire to be great.”

Selected students from upper level math classes will be offering tutoring sessions during homeroom on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in math teacher Amanda Bell’s classroom, 2102. If interested, students can sign up using the QR codes in the math hallway, language hallway and computer science hallway.

“I worked in the Math Lab at WT while in college, and I thought it was a great resource,” Bell said. “Sometimes we don’t understand the way our own teacher teaches. This will allow kids to get help from someone different that may explain concepts in a way that makes more sense to the student.”

Bell handpicked each tutor, selecting students who are well rounded in math, good at explaining and patient. All tutors must have taken math classes from Algebra through College Algebra.

“Our goal is to have a safe space for students to get the extra help they need,” Bell said. “We have too many students who can’t come before or after school, are scared to ask for help from their teacher in fear of looking dumb or can’t find time to meet with their teacher. Our goal is to have peers teaching peers and create something wonderful.”

Our goal is to have peers teaching peers and create something wonderful.”

— Math teacher Amanda Bell

Currently, tutoring is offered for classes through College Algebra. Bell said she is hoping to grow her Calculus classes and offer tutoring through Trigonometry in the future.

“This is such a great resource any student can utilize,” Bell said. “It helps students build bonds with one another and aspire to be great. We see this becoming something huge for the school.”

Junior and peer tutor Charlotte Plotts has been tutoring for a couple years prior to the math lab. She started tutoring outside of school and plans to get a job as a tutor in college. 

“I’m constantly tutoring,” Plotts said. “It helps me understand the foundations of math. Some things I’ve forgotten, and I’ve had to relearn. It’s helped me in my upper levels of math. You learn how to communicate and teaching is a great way to learn. If you’re struggling with something, try teaching it.”

Typically, 9-10 students will come in for tutoring each session. With around five tutors, help is given in small groups, or one-on-one. 

“Honestly, I just want to lessen their stress, because I understand completely not understanding something,” Plotts said. “It’s difficult and makes them think that they’re stupid. It’s not because they’re stupid. They just need help. I want to let them know I can help you. You’re okay. You’re smart.”

Those signed up for tutoring are encouraged to bring any math homework they need help on to their tutoring session. 

“Sometimes you’re like, ‘I really don’t understand this subject, but I can’t ask a question because I don’t even know what to ask,’” Plotts said. “Just ask, ‘Hey, I don’t understand this. Could you go slower or explain it in a different way?’ That is still a question you can ask. Even though it’s not specific, that still helps the teacher help you.” 

After their tutoring session, students are asked to rate the help they received on a scale from 1-10. So far, students are rating their help an 8 or higher.

“They can learn from a new voice,” Mason Lee, junior and peer tutor, said. “Usually it takes a second hand perspective to learn something. I’m hoping they’re able to learn and they’ll be more motivated. They won’t be as defeated when they can’t figure something out; they’ll be more motivated to finish the work.”

Lee said he typically walks the students through three or four problems, then watches them do it on their own, with help if needed.

“There is plenty of help out there,” Lee said. “Come in whenever you feel like it. Even if you just need a quiet place to work, it’s a good place and there’s lots of help.”