Over the course of the IB Diploma Program for the CAS Project I decided to participate in peer tutoring, which involved me serving as a tutor in English, I&S, Math, and Science to younger students in need of academic support. Having studied at MIS for twelve years now, I am familiar with the system and requirements of the three curriculums – PYP, MYP and DP. Through Peer Tutoring I was able to give the help that I never got as a student in the junior years (since the concept hadn’t been introduced back then) and the importance of this was further reinforced as an ongoing learner. Leading this experience and teaching students, I realized the strengths and weaknesses I had as a leader and with this I was successfully able to organize myself and work on those skills. This included organizing meetings, communicating with the student itself and their respective subjective teachers and parents. I was held responsible for the growth of the student to some extent and the student improving would be a test of my teaching/helping. Having done Peer Tutoring itself for four years, I was aware of the effort that goes into this and how even the slightest lack of communication could result in negative outcomes. I had to formulate both, short and long-term goals and set out an achievable plan at the beginning of the year based on individual requirements of the student.
My strengths included the following:
- Skill Development: Being a tutor has helped me develop and refine my skills in explaining difficult concepts in a simple and effective manner. Through this I was also revising my own knowledge and communicating ideas and knowledge to grade levels younger than me, bettered my communication.
- Helping Others: The opportunity to help others has been incredibly rewarding. Seeing my tutees progress and gain confidence in their abilities has been a source of great satisfaction.
- Personal Growth: The experience of being a peer tutor has allowed me to grow and increase patience, empathy, independence and persevere through all challenges encountered.
- Promoted critical thinking and problem solving
- Being my own boss: Since I was in control of the lesson plan and contents, I had the flexibility of creating the lesson plans and improvising based on weekly performance which increased the effectiveness of the experience.
I could have further improved the following:
- Time Management: At times while creating the lesson plans and jumbling between subjects, I lost track of the amount of time that was allocated to every activity, and I figured this as sometimes the lesson plans were either left incomplete and would be pushed to the next week or at times there wasn’t enough material covered. Finding the balance between the two was one factor that required some time. I also had to balance the demand of my own schoolwork and tutoring.
- Limited Availability: The time slots between my tutee and I were rarely ever in sync. Finding a time and sticking to it required a lot of planning and changes that had to be made to the regular schedule.
- Limited Resources: Sometimes, I encountered difficulties when trying to explain difficult concepts to my tutees, as I did not have access to all the resources, I needed to help them.
- During online learning, the flexibility of improvisation and use of online resources was a lot easier but the learning and understanding of content was hampered.
- At one point, I was told to teach in French. I have been studying French in school since 2nd grade but teaching a subject like Math in French first required me to learn certain vocabulary, find resources in French, study them myself and then teach. This required extra time and dedication, but I was able to persevere through the challenges encountered.
Reflecting upon the overall process from planning to teaching in various subjects, I am proud to reflect that the outcomes are satisfactory with no major failures. Whatever went wrong had been overcome through modification and improvisation. On a personal level, I have developed my communication skills with a range of age groups, become a lot more confident and now have increased self-esteem, gauged faster methods of problem solving and accelerated collaboration and teamwork.
The personal significance of this project lies in the fact that I completed it from start to finish. Despite facing challenges, I persevered with the support of peer tutoring over the past four years, thanks to the cooperation and assistance of my teachers, particularly Ms. Jodi. The knowledge and skills I have acquired through this project are valuable to me, but what is even more meaningful is that I have demonstrated my determination and resilience. I hope that this program will continue in our school, and I am proud to have made a small contribution that reflects my passion for community growth and development.