One of GFS’s defining strengths is the sense of community that envelops and nurtures each student’s success amidst a strenuous academic culture. Perhaps, there is no finer example of this is our Upper School Peer Tutoring Program. Organized and implemented by students, peer tutoring is a longstanding GFS tradition. Each week, Upper School student volunteers meet weekly with fellow students in the Upper and Middle Schools to give them a bit of free academic support. Students, teachers or grade advisors put in a request to the group and a time and place for tutoring is arranged.
Student tutors do whatever they can to help their classmates, sometimes just going over homework, reviewing a key concept—whatever the student needs. When a student is struggling with a particular class or just needs a little extra time to process a new concept or review a lesson, a peer tutor can be just what the doctor (or in this case, teacher) ordered!
At the beginning of the year, more than 35 students signed up to be tutors. The club is advised by Upper School science teacher Tracey Spinka, and this year’s student leaders are seniors Sara Thalheimer and Eden Beschen. The obvious benefits of this program are reciprocal.
As aptly expressed by Sara “ Peer tutoring is so important because it gives students an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a volunteering tutor who has taken the same courses that the student is taking and has faced the same challenges. I often find that peer tutors can clarify things in new and more accessible ways to those whom they are tutoring, and it's incredibly rewarding to know that you've helped another student genuinely learn and understand new material. ”