The National Honors Society(NHS) tutoring program will begin for the year next week.
In the program, NHS students volunteer their time to tutor any student who needs help in a class. They meet after school in the conference room in the counseling center from 2:50 p.m. to 3:20 p.m on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Senior Emily Sneed is one of four NHS presidents, and is in charge of the tutoring program. She organizes the meetings for the tutoring program and helps tutor students. Sneed, along with all other NHS members, is required to fulfill 10 service hours of an event through East, and another 10 hours of individual community service to graduate with honors.
“We try to make it so [an NHS executive] is in charge of each opportunity; so Operation Breakthrough is an option, and we have the College Clinic next week,” Sneed said. “If an NHS student wants to do tutoring, great, but there are other options.”
According to Sneed, this program benefits students because it is a cheaper route of getting academic help than hiring a private tutor. Also, the tutors have taken the same classes they are helping other kids with, so they have an idea of what you need to know.
“We’re not teachers, obviously, but we’ve had these teachers and the experience,” Sneed said.
They can pass on study techniques that worked for them in a class to give kids a new way to learn.
“I think one of the most important parts of learning is you learn together – part of it is understanding the material, and part of it is understanding how you get graded and the style of the teacher,” Murphy said.
Murphy thinks, from a teacher’s perspective, a student will better understand a concept if someone else explains it in a different way.
“We teachers always explain things over and over, but sometimes a kid that gets it will explain it just a little bit different than how I do, and it can click with the [other] kid, so I think that’s beneficial,” Murphy said. “And I think it helps the tutors; you learn material better when you have to explain it to somebody else.”
The main differences between this program and hiring a professional tutor are that this is free, it meets several times per week, and students still have to learn the material – the work is not being done for them.
“Parents use tutors for their kids because they think they’re helping them get the grade, but the kids use tutors sometimes in a different way that keeps them from tackling tougher material on a daily basis. I think it becomes more of a crutch,” Murphy said.
According to Murphy, students often abuse access to tutors by having the tutor do their work for them when they don’t understand it. With NHS tutoring, that doesn’t happen because students can get help sooner and more often.
“One of the shortcomings I see in a professional tutor is often when people go and hire a professional tutor and they meet on Thursdays, [the student] will be lost on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in class,” Murphy said.
According to Sneed, the benefits go both ways in that students get free help with school, and tutors get the service hours they need and the satisfaction of helping others.
“It’s fun to help kids figure things out. It’s always good when someone understands a concept, and it is helping the community,” Sneed said.
According to Murphy, corporations today value people with good skills in working with a group. This program gives both tutors and students that experience.
“Sometimes when something comes really easy for you, you need to understand that you have to have patience for people that it doesn’t come easy for,” Murphy said. “Whether the tutor is learning to be a teacher or the student is learning to be taught, I think everybody can gain something out of it that helps them get to their next level.”