MHS Learners benefitting from New Peer Tutoring Room

Anushka Mukherjee | Staff Writer

Tutoring just got an upgrade.

In the past three years of the Peer Tutoring program, tutoring took place in the Learning Commons. This year the program implemented a new room in C303 funded by the Mason City Schools Foundation. The room is tailored to fit the various learning environments as requested by the tutees, and there are many supplies to help them succeed. 

Independent study students researched successful learning environments, benefits of blue fluorescent lights, and study resources in preparation for the plan. Senior Paige Rudy, an intern in the program, was a part of the group of independent study students who put forth the proposal for the new room in 2018. She believes this new room will prove to be quite valuable for the students. 

“It’s good to have a certain environment where you are surrounded by people that are feeling the same way as you,” Rudy said. “The tutees will walk in knowing that there are people there to specifically help them. And that will certainly be beneficial for the tutees because they will have a safe space.”

Students in Peer Tutoring say that it has helped them perform better in their classes. Freshman Ella Schlaeger, who is currently being tutored in science, affirms the program is helping her improve her performance in her class.

“I really like the Peer Tutoring room because I get to work one on one with my tutor,” Schlaeger said. “I like how it’s not a normal classroom setting because it’s student-led. It’s a nice feeling to get to work at my own pace and not have to worry about being behind in class.”

The Peer Tutoring room was designed to ensure the tutees felt welcomed and comfortable. One of the new aspects of this room are the three different learning environments – kinesthetic, auditory, and visual. 

“For the visual and auditory learners, we have monitors so that the tutors can show them videos; there’s graph paper, textbooks, and whiteboards,” Paxton said. “For the kinesthetic learners, there are yoga balls and high chairs to make sure that they are comfortable and focused.”

Jere Clark, co-advisor of the Peer Tutoring program, said that in a standard classroom it is difficult for students to recognize their learning style and be taught in that specific manner. Students often don’t even know what their learning style is, and that can get in the way of their learning process. But with the new room, the tutors have the opportunity to get to know their tutees personally and teach them, according to Clark.

“If a tutor has a visual learner, for instance, then the tutee will be able to understand that the reason they learn better when things are written down is because of their learning style,” Clark said. “Our goal is to help students identify what learning style works for them so that they can apply it to the classroom. It’s a tool they can use.”

The room is designed as a space to help students learn. Clark said a lot of thought was put into planning the arrangement of the room to make sure that it was the ideal environment for the tutees. The room is meant to provide tutors with a safe place to help their tutees perform better in their classrooms, she added. 

“We make it our job to make sure that the students that are struggling or need help, have somewhere to go,” Clark said. “We want them to have an outlet where they can feel safe and supported no matter what.”

Photos by Riley Johansen and Anuskha Mukherjee.