Mathematics has always been a difficult subject to most students especially in sixth grade. The school therefore decided to come up with a program that will help this students in improving their knowledge and understanding of the subject. The program requires eighth grade students who have a good understanding in mathematics to help the sixth graders at the rate of $5 per hour. The students meet for one hour per day. The program therefore aims at improving the knowledge of the students in mathematics and help them grasp content more easily. In general this program helps in reducing the stress levels in the junior students making them more alert in class.
The selected tutors helps the students in improving their confidence levels and also be present both academically and socially. Currently the program has employed 65 tutors to tutor 75 students in sixth grade and the program intents to recruit more tutors because more and more students require their help.
Not all students in the sixth grade are very good in mathematics. Most of them need help in order to understand and gain the knowledge that is needed in technical subjects like mathematics. The school therefore came up with a program that will help the students improve in the subject in the best way possible. Students from the same grade proved not to be helpful because there was familiarity between the students leading to lack of seriousness.
Students in the eighth grade were the best option to tutor these students because they have already acquired the knowledge. This group of students are also most likely to command respect from the students in sixth grade. The eighth graders benefit from the program because they are paid $5 per hour when they tutor the students. Students from the eighth grade who score an average of B+ in mathematics will meet the students from the sixth grade every day for a period of one hour. The tutors have also been trained to instill confidence, positive support and allow the students maximum time to grasp content.
Students involved in the program are in eighth grade. They take one hour per day to tutor the students and at the end of it earn $5 per hour. The selected tutors must attain an average grade of B+ in their mathematics exams. This means that the students do not have problems when it comes to grasping the content and will be a useful channel in helping the students. The selected tutors also have a good behavior record with no previous cases of indiscipline. This ensures that the students are not bad influences to the junior students. The tutors act as role models both socially and academically. The junior students therefore have somewhere to look up to when they have any problem be it social or academic.
The program has been running for three months now. Most of the parents and students have expressed their satisfaction will the program. Most of the students have affirmed that they are able to understand concepts better and without much struggle when the teacher is in class. The students also agreed that the program has indeed helped them to cope with the difficulties that come with mathematics skills. The teachers have also expressed their satisfaction with how the students follow up when they are teaching in class. In general the program can be said to be a success three months down the line.
There are studies that have carried out previously on the importance of tutoring junior students. Briggs (2013) notes that tutoring has a lot of advantages to both the tutor and the tutee. They both have an increased advantage when it comes to tutoring. She notes that tutoring is not a new concept and has been therefore through the years and it has become quite advantageous to all the parties. Briggs (2013) also outlines various ways in which peer teaching can be improved and our program has followed most of her guidelines.
Reisner et al., (1989) note that tutoring has a positive effect when it comes to the students. They note that the students’ levels of confidence and self-esteem are highly improved, tutoring also has a positive effects on the grades of the tutors and tutees because they improve their grades and they also are able to obtain practical experience and improve leadership skills. The program that is run by Stoney Hill Middle school is a perfect example of the positive outcome that have been witnessed as a result of the tutoring program that is carried out within the school.
A study carried out by Clarke et al., (2015) among medical students showed that the tutors felt that the program helped them adequately prepare for their exams. The study was able to conclude that the tutors enjoyed their experience even if they felt they needed a little training before tutoring. Clarke et al., also noted that tutoring fostered a sense of socialism among the tutors and tutees.
Grubbs and Boes (2009) carried out a study that showed the benefits of tutoring. They agree that peer tutoring increases the level of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline among the tutors and tutees. They recommend that peer teaching be carried out to help students who are struggling with their studies because it will improve their lives as well. The however note that peer teaching does come with its own challenges and that give ways in which the issues can be solved.
Briggs S. (2013) “How Peer Learning Improves Student Learning and 10 Ways to Encourage It.” Informed retrieved from www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/peer-teaching/
Clarke A., Burgess A., Menezes A., Mellis C.,(2015) Senior Students’ Experience as Tutors of Their Juniors Peers in the Hospital Setting” BMC Research Notes 8:743
Grubbs N. and Boes S. (2009) “The Effects of the Peer Tutoring Program: An Action Research Study of the Effectiveness of the Peer Tutoring Program at One Suburban Middle School” GCSA Journal Vol.16 No.1
Resiner E., Petry C., Armitage M., (1989) “A Review of Programs Involving College Students as Tutors or Mentors in Grades K-12” Policy Studies Associates Inc.