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RHS ECHO: Online student news

RHS ECHO: Online student news

It’s not an F ’till finals: consider tutoring

Lillian Webb

Finals. They’re coming up, and let’s face it, most of us are worried for them. Finals show you and your teacher how well you truly understand the curriculum of their class, and the test is pretty important in most classes. With all of that in mind, let’s talk about tutoring to help with studying, whether for finals or regular tests. 

According to the Institute of Education Sciences, “Tutoring is most effective when conducted at school, during school hours, and in three or more sessions per week for at least 30 minutes each… tutoring is more effective when conducted by teachers or professional tutors who are well trained and supervised rather than by volunteers, peers, or parent tutors.” 

We now know that tutoring works best when the tutor is a trained professional or teacher. What tutoring opportunities are available at Rolla High School?

“English Seminar is an after school tutoring time in which students can get help from an English teacher with assignments,” said English teacher Star Hargis.

RHS has many tutoring opportunities regularly for students, including English Seminar, Math Lab, and Chemistry tutoring. In December, there will be a special tutoring event for freshmen before their first-ever finals: Cocoa & Cram. 

“Cocoa and Cram is a study session opportunity offered to freshmen at the end of first semester to help them prepare for finals.  Freshmen can study any subject while they’re in attendance and get assistance from Project FIDO [Freshman Integration Development and Orientation] leaders.  Hot cocoa and snacks are also provided for the students who attend,” said RHS Theater instructor and director Kelli McNeven.

Tutoring is beneficial, but you can also study on your own. Why should you see a teacher or mentor to help you study?

“Most of the freshmen at RHS have never taken finals before.  Cocoa and Cram is designed to give them dedicated time to review for those finals and the opportunity to get advice or tutoring from Project FIDO leaders who are upperclassmen.  We also strive to have a staff member present from each of the core areas [Math, Science, ELA, Social Studies] to assist the students as well,” said McNeven. 

There are also older, more experienced, knowledgeable students and teachers at Cocoa & Cram to assist freshmen before finals. Is there anything freshmen should prepare for before attending Cocoa & Cram?

“It’s a good idea to have an idea of what the final might look like and bring study guides with them if their teachers have provided them.  Project FIDO also collects study guides from teachers, so students can access them if they forget to bring theirs,” said McNeven.

Cocoa & Cram is only available for freshmen, so what about the sophomores, juniors, and seniors who seek tutoring? Forming a study group with other students taking the same finals is an effective study method. 

According to the Washington University in St. Louis, “When students hear the voice of the professor and are taking notes, they are so busy writing that it’s hard for them to really absorb the material. What happens in the study group setting is that through these interaction dynamics that we identified, students could absorb the lecture notes and make them their own.” 

Study groups are effective and useful for students as a study method, and accompanying teacher-led tutoring.

“Teachers can also use this time to help students with college essays, recommendation letters, and independent writing…sometimes students just need a quiet space to work.  There are students that have hectic schedules and home lives and English seminar is a place where they can just concentrate on completing work.  English Seminar also provides time to be able to have one on one discussions about assignments.  Some students just need that focused and available time to ask questions they did not get to ask in class,” said Hargis. 

Many students might avoid tutoring thinking it’s just an extension of school and might not help them, but it really can!

“Take advantage of it!  I think many students just see it as a punishment of some sort, but it is valuable time to be able to connect with your teachers, ask questions and finish work. We are not scary, I promise.  Well, maybe a little,” said Hargis.

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About the Contributor
Lillian Webb
Lillian Webb, Webmaster
Hello, my name is Lillian and I am a junior this year. It is my second year on the staff, and my first year as the Webmaster. I’m in band, German club, and Speech & Debate. If I’m not babysitting or doing homework, you can find me eating my favorite candy and snacks and watching The Flash.