I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’m horrible at math.
I’m not even sure when I started to be bad, or if I had always struggled with numbers and graphs. But maybe I should count myself lucky, because according to Forbes, 82% of high school students in a suburban county fail their Algebra 1 final exam.
I think I managed to pass eighth grade math with a solid B, but then again my math teacher never finished teaching the second part of our math textbook.
A lot of my time is spent thinking about math, especially at The Gregory School, and I could probably say that’s true of a majority of students here.
I spend many hours working hard at cracking some formulas on my Calculus worksheets that Mr. Mata assigns me. Even though Mr. Mata is probably the most amazing math teacher I’ve had in a really long time, I continue to struggle with math even after watching countless videos on Khan Academy or trying to understand some of the equations in my math textbooks.
And that gets me thinking. In my Calculus class, we have some true math prodigies – I mean, some of them could probably have been that janitor at MIT who solved all of the super hard math problems that none of the students or teachers could.
A lot of times, I ask my classmates to explain to me how to find an antiderivative or how to graph an integral and they usually do a pretty excellent job of doing so.
So what if we harnessed these math genius’ brain powers? What if we set up a program that allowed current students who were excelling in math to tutor other students who were struggling?
We most definitely have the space available on campus to do so. I mean, there’s that whole room right next to Mr. Conner’s that used to be the computer lab, but now I think it’s just bike storage.
Put a couple of tables, chairs, pencils and calculators and boom – that’s really all you need to solve a math equation. Students could use tutorial each day to go in that room and get help from their classmates.
In return, student tutors could get community service hours or could even get paid.
Based upon my past experience trying to do math homework, you really need that one-on-one attention to understand a concept thoroughly if you’re having difficulty with it.
This math tutoring center would alleviate some of the predicaments that a lot of students encounter when they seek out math help.
If there’s only two math teachers to provide one-on-one attention for 180 students in the upper school, that’s a lot of work for the teachers and a lot of waiting time for students.
After thinking this through in my head, I went to seek out some of the math geniuses in my class to get some input on whether they would be interested in being a math tutor.
Thankfully, I was met with some positive responses:
Sophomore Jaiveer Katariya said, “I definitely would. It would be an easy way to get community service hours. I like math, that’s why I think it would be a fun way to do it. But along with getting community service hours I would also be helping other people.”
Junior Yuxi Xia said, “I really like the idea. I think it provides an opportunity for students to interact and learn from each other and it’s a chance to help the students who are not very good at the subject to improve and get good grades, but it could also help the tutors learn more from the other students.”
Junior Daniel Rosenberg agreed but had a differing view on the topic.
“I would do it but there would have to be some type of incentive, I think community service hours would definitely get people to do it but then again we only have to do 15.”
People won’t do it out of their own free will. Honestly if there isn’t something to get out of it I wouldn’t do it, but it’s a good idea because it’s definitely a necessity,” said Rosenberg.
According to this, we have the resources and volunteers, so STUCO or the administration should definitely get this going.
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