Students at Minot High School-Magic City Campus can get help from their peers as well as from their teachers this year thanks to a peer tutoring program started by senior Peter Wilson.
Wilson said another student in one of his classes asked last year if the school had a tutoring program and Wilson was sure they must, but when he stopped in the guidance office he found out there wasn't one. He talked with the guidance office last school year about starting a peer tutoring program and the program was born.
So far there are 18 volunteer peer tutors from the junior and senior classes. Peer tutors went through an application process and were screened for good character as well as for good grades in the class they want to tutor in. Wilson said the peer tutors are required to have a 3.0 overall GPA and an A in the class they intend to tutor another student in. Teachers recommended some of the students who have become tutors.
Peer tutors Chloe Rickards, a junior, left, and senior Peter Wilson are two of 18 students who are volunteering their time as tutors for other students having trouble in a class. Wilson helped get the peer tutoring program at Minot High School-Magic City Campus going.
The program is private and peer tutors have to promise to maintain strict confidentiality about who they are tutoring, down to not revealing names. Kids can meet with their peer tutor either at the school or outside the school.
Wilson said he got some practice tutoring younger students at his family's lake cabin in Minnesota and worked with a middle school student who was behind in reading and math. The boy has had a difficult past few years, involving family difficulties too, but Wilson was able to build a good relationship with him.
"It wasn't necessarily fun working with him every day," said Wilson, but it was extremely rewarding. Wilson said it was great to see the progress the boy made from day to day and know he had helped him.
Minot High has an intervention period built into the school day during which kids can seek help from teachers in a class where they are struggling, but Wilson said he thinks there's something a little different about getting help from someone the student's own age. He wants to build a relationship with the students he tutors and isn't interested in being "a teacher's minion" outside the classroom.
He also tries to find out where a student is at in the class, what concepts they are having trouble with, and to take into account which way they learn best. Math is the subject many students are asking for help with, said Wilson.
Minot High students who want help from a peer tutor should contact the school's guidance office.