Although school will not reopen until next fall, and the Academic Center is closed, students can take advantage of this resource once it reopens in August.
With any class, especially those with higher standards, it’s easy to fall behind. The teachers, often with hundreds of students to attend to and daily lesson plans to create, don’t always have time to help each student with their specific needs and queries. For sophomore Hannah Zhang, this problem arose in chemistry. But thankfully, Zhang turned to a resource that’s often disregarded by Gunn students: the Academic Center (AC).
In the AC, qualified Gunn students can sign up to tutor other students in a class that they excelled at. Junior Eileen Hung found herself enjoying chemistry and signed up to tutor students in the AC after hearing about it on the daily morning announcements. “[I] figured that teaching other people would be a good way of keeping up with the material,” Hung, who is currently taking AP Chem, said.
The process to sign up for both potential tutors and tutees is easy, reported both Zhang and Hung. Zhang signed up after hearing good reviews from other friends that had been tutored for other subjects. After signing up, a session occurs once a week, where the tutor gets to take the reins and decide how to best teach their tutee. For Hung, it’s helping her tutees with homework, as it often reviews the concepts of the course. “Once they understand that, it makes applying that to everything else a lot easier,” Hung said. Zhang introduces any new concepts that they have been covering in class and then the two dive into worksheets.
For both Zhang and Hung, tutoring has provided a lot of benefits. In terms of academics, tutoring has allowed Hung to keep up with the topics in AP Chem and it has helped Zhang catch up and stay on top of the work in her class. But not only does it help academically, it fosters a friendship that supports the tutoring process as well as provides a helpful resource within the school community. “Whenever I have questions, even if they are not related to the subject, I am able to ask my tutor for advice,” Zhang said. Hung agrees with Zhang, arguing that having a friendly tutor improves tutoring overall. With a friend as a tutor, students can feel more comfortable asking questions about anything they’re confused with. “A friend can teach a person many skills that a teacher will never be able to and vice versa, just because of the ethics of relations. The position of being a peer tutor who can be both and teach a little of everything is to me, a valuable position to hold,” Hung said.
Although at times it can be difficult to balance both positions as it’s easier to get distracted and makes giving criticism a little more awkward, it seems to be beneficial in the long run. “I think students learn better when they’re relaxed, and being friendly makes the environment less stressful,” Hung said.
Tutoring is a valuable resource that Gunn offers to its students. Although school is currently online until May 1st at the earliest, students should consider reaching out and signing up to be tutored or tutor in the AC when school returns if they find themselves struggling in a class or if they excelled in a class in the past. “There’s no issue with knowing when you need help, but knowing when you can do this on your own is also a valuable skill,” Hung said.