Peer tutoring in the college and career center helps prepare students

Valeria Imendia explaining some vocabulary words to Jacqueline Le
on Sept. 9th.
Photo by VIAN NGUYEN

 

In the college and career center tutoring is held from 2:40 p.m to 3:30 p.m on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you need help with homework or to study, tutoring in the college and career center can help!

Junior Valeria Imendia and Sophomore Phu Mai are regularly in the college and career center helping students study.

“Students in tutoring sessions are doing very well and are able to understand very quickly,” Imendia said.

The progression of helping students study has greatly helped them prepare for upcoming tests and quizzes.

“Tutoring with the students to prepare for  tests really works. I also learn from them while studying with them,” Mai said.

There are different ways of studying and methods used by the tutors.

“My way to study with the students are first I ask if they understand the concepts, then I evaluate the instructions with them, last we do practice problems. I continue to give them questions about it until they fully understand the concepts,” Imendia said.

She believes that constantly practicing can really help improve a student’s skills with the subject.

“I like to give easy-to-remember steps on how to do things, or logical steps that you don’t have to remember – you just know it, and you will be able to understand the concepts faster and easier,” Mai said.

According to the tutors, tutoring may be stressful when it comes to explaining a complex chapter of a course to another student.

“A time when I had to demonstrate a lot of patience was when a student had to answer a science lab project’s questions. To be able to answer the lab questions, you must be there. It was stressful trying to help when you were not there to know the procedures. I tried to help but the student kept refusing to reread the instructions and cooperate to figure out the answers,” Imendia said.

Tutoring doesn’t necessarily help right away.

“I once helped tutor a student who had hard time understanding how to add positive and negative integers. I had to re-explain a lot of times and it took a while till the student understood it,” Mai said.

Not only do the tutors have strategies and methods to study with the students, but they also have ways to motivate them too.

“I tell them, ‘might as well learn it now, rather than later, you’re going to have to face it anyway,’” Mai said.

He believes that studying now will only help students in the future.

“Students that come for help are actually really capable to be ready for the test, they are just insecure believing they might fail. I motivate them to keep doing practice questions on the subject until they feel comfortable with it.” Imendia says.

Imendia believes it is best if a tutor is patient.

“I would not mind to continuously repeat the explanation of the concepts until they understand it,” Imendia says. “Before starting to study with the students, we agree to set a goal together. For example, how many vocabulary words they will learn today, and then start tutoring, and hopefully accomplish the goal and exceed it.”

According to Imendia’s philosophy on teaching, she believes one phrase is a good inspiration and could give a better perspective on homework to the students.

“Instead of calling it homework, I like to call it ‘heart-work,’ because ‘heart-work’ makes it sound more like work. You do it from your heart – you are willing to do it, while homework sounds like a burden,” Imendia said.

“If it doesn’t make sense, question it, research about it, find out the answer and you will understand it,” Mai said.

Mai thinks that it is best not to be shy and just go research about what you don’t understand.

 

by JACQUELINE LE