Tutoring Help Rea-peers

It is no secret that for most, remote learning presents greater challenges than traditional education — but luckily, peers in National Honor Society are offering to help bridge the gap.


Since late September, NHS has been continuing its peer tutoring program.

“This has been going on for two years,” said senior and NHS president Kailey Abraham. “The officers and I created Google Forms and sent them to NHS students who wanted to tutor. It’s mainly seniors who are tutors. We sent out a form to students as well. As requests come in, we go through our lists and match people based on subjects.”


Senior and NHS treasurer Lindsay Park said, “We put an emphasis on getting help in a virtual space. I connected it with an outside company, so we also tutor students from outside the district.”


The program has a renewed purpose in this COVID-era of online and hybrid education.


“Especially this year, it’s harder for kids to pay attention and understand what teachers are saying,” Kailey said. “Hopefully with this, they don’t have to feel so overwhelmed.”


Senior and NHS secretary Stephanie Mao said that “being able to provide students of any grade an opportunity to reach out to a peer is a good way to connect. I think we have had a growth in the amount of people who want to peer tutor, and more people have been applying for tutors because of the virtual setting.”

Alexandra Vergara is an NHS tutor.


All of the NHS officers are peer tutors.


“I tutored two people in first the semester, and I’m about to start tutoring another one this coming week,” said senior and NHS points chair Sarah Lessig. “With being online, it’s a lot harder for students to take the initiative to go in to teachers. Using other students as resources is beneficial; it’s easier to talk to them than an authority figure.”


“Tutoring makes me happy, and I honestly wasn’t really expecting it,” said senior and NHS vice president Alyssa Benjamin. “I tutor a fourth grader, and I think it’s nice for her too because she’s stuck inside all day. We do some reading and writing, and then we do fun things like Hangman or spot the difference between two pictures. It’s fun for both of us.”


Senior and tutor Anisha Kumar said, “I like tutoring. It’s a good way to help people academically and work on my own people skills. I struggled in biology a lot; I’m taking AP Physics right now and I still think it’s easier than Honors biology. That encouraged me to want to help freshmen, especially in this virtual environment where they do not know their teacher. When we would go in for HATS in regular times, there would be a group of people there so it wouldn’t really be one-on-one. But now it’s one-on-one, and that’s really intimidating as a freshman with a teacher you do not really know.


Anisha tutored freshman Sarah Kim in the fall semester.


“This helped me ease my way into the high school,” Sarah said. “I have trouble talking to teachers depending on what my grade is, so I was more comfortable talking to a student in high school. It definitely improved my grade and I understood a lot of things more. It would’ve been better in person, but it worked out online, so I’m not complaining.”


For the foreseeable future, all tutoring is virtual, either during HATS or after school. But “maybe next year it can be in person. We’re trying to expand,” Lindsay said.


However, the virtual setting may be encouraging to students interested in being tutored.


Kailey and Stephanie said, “The forms are confidential, so you don’t have to go anywhere and have people see you sign up, even though, of course, it’s not bad to need help. It’s not very intimidating. You can have your camera off; it’s very easygoing.”


Tutors expressed that they wished they had greater access to the program when they were underclassmen.


Alexandra Vergara tutors in math.

Sarah said, “I wasn’t really aware of the peer tutoring initiative when I was an underclassman. Now, we’re doing a better job of getting the information out, so people are more aware of what opportunities there are.”


“I wish I knew more, especially in my freshman year,” said Alyssa. “Coming to the high school, everything is new and the classes are hard to juggle. I definitely wish I had someone to help with biology.”


The program is still open to applicants, tutors and tutees alike.


NHS officers “try to send the forms out at the beginning of each quarter, during the transitional periods when people are changing classes,” said Alyssa.


She continued, “We’re still looking for ways to reach the target people who might need it. You can sign up at any time.” 


Link to the form if interested: