NHS tutors CSH

Katherine Noakes

Katherine Noakes

Anjali Shrestha
Features Editor

A Convent Elementary School fifth grader sprints from her cubby in the Herbst House hallway back to her homeroom classroom to make it back on time for tutoring with junior Charlotte Coover, while other students linger so they can see the “cool older kid” from across the street.

National Honor Society members have started tutoring CES students, creating relationships with younger students and building connections between the schools. Working one-on-one with the high school students gives the CES girls a mentor to look up to and a tall “smart” friend to help with challenging work outside a formal classroom setting.

“It is a rewarding experience seeing a girl solve a math problem and know that I helped her,” said Coover, who is a junior. “I now have gotten to know students and teachers at the lower school and never would have been able to before. By getting to know students in younger grades it furthers connection between out schools.”

The new NHS program provides additional help in any class younger students want to focus on — from arithmetic to English to the history of Native Americans. The tutoring program was established based on interest from club members, but is not mandatory.

“I created a directory containing the NHS members’ names and up to three subjects they feel comfortable tutoring in,” said NHS president Katherine Noakes. “That way, [NHS members] not only feel comfortable but are passionate about what they’re teaching.”

The current project has been presented in many NHS meetings, but is only now taking affect under Noakes’s leadership.

“The [NHS members] are the ones who put this together,” said faculty moderator Michael Steinbrecher. “The idea to tutor elementary students has been discussed for some time, but this particular group of officers made it happen. They organized it, they made the contacts w i t h t h e elementary school admi n i s t r a tion.”

Students who tutor p e e r s o r younger students increase their own understanding of the subject matter as they tutor students and boost their own confidence, according to the Learning and Teaching Resource Center (LTRC). Tutors practice communication and develop their own leadership skills.

“I look forward to meeting with my student each week because she wants to do well and I love being able to help her with that,” said Coover. “Initially I was worried about getting into the mindset of a teacher and being able to explain math problems in a way she can understand, but by using pictures and examples I have helped my student understand.”

Younger tutors, as opposed to adults, help elementary students feel more at ease and concentrate better on the subject matter, according to LTRC.

Tutees receive individualized instruction, more teaching, respond better to their peers than to their teachers and obtain companionship from the students that tutor them.

“I feel that since I am a student I will be able to connect more with the student I am tutoring rather than a an adult just coming in and actually doing this because I want to,” said Coover.