The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

Somebody to Lean On

LASA Tutors Lend a Helping Hand
Annabel Andre
HELPING OUT | LASA students in AP Calculus and higher-level math classes volunteer to tutor their peers in math subjects. Math peer tutoring is available in the T-Annex everyday during lunch and before school.

LASA offers many tutoring opportunities for their students in areas such as math, sciences, and writing. Tutoring sessions at LASA, funded by PFLASA, are free of charge and occur weekly. While many LASA students themselves teach at these sessions, University of Texas at Austin (UT) students also conduct after-school sessions for students. Chemistry tutoring via UT students happens after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Japanese room, physics tutoring led by students and teachers happens during lunch, the writing center that provides peer writing review for students happens most days during lunch, and math tutoring varies per class during lunch and after school hours. 

Sophomore Amritha Ramkumar stated that her peers often believe that tutoring is long, hard, annoying, or a waste of time, but she believes that tutoring at LASA is actually very quick and stress-free. At LASA, you don’t need an appointment, and according to Ramkumar, the way tutoring is structured allows students to better ease into tutoring.  

“You can come and leave as you want to,” Ramkumar said. “It can be general or specific questions. Some people just come in if they have a CFU [Check for Understanding] or something and they have a question about a particular concept, and then other people ask for help with practice problems.” 

However, Ramkumar mentioned that while tutoring is incredibly helpful, it also has downsides. Tutoring can often get overcrowded with people, and the time students have to wait to get to a tutor is very long. 

“Sometimes the tutoring gets really busy,” Ramkumar said. “There are lots of students so I wish that there was more space to tutor.” 

Sophomore Eamon Griffin feels that tutoring is superior to office hours, even with its specific drawbacks such as overcrowding. Griffin said that it feels more personal than regular office hours and, for him, that makes it easier to understand the topics.

 “Tutoring is very different from office hours in a couple of ways,” Griffin said. “While office hours are a good way to get back on track or better understand the material, often there is not enough time, the teacher is busy doing something else, and sometimes you have to schedule an appointment. Tutoring gives you an alternate way to understand and learn your material with a second voice that might help more than your teacher.”

Sophomore Bouna Sakho believes that when students can understand and admit they don’t understand a subject, it shows their strength, not their weakness. According to him, understanding subjects in a healthy and fun learning environment through these tutoring sessions can be a really good thing for all students’ grades, mental health, and future success.

Sakho added that the after school tutoring sessions hosted by UT students, while perfect for some, don’t work for all LASA students. It can conflict with several after-school extracurriculars, sports, and other activities. Additionally, with the popularity of these sessions, space can get filled up quickly, as office hours might be closed and people want help with their problems. 

“I play soccer and sometimes it’s hard to go to soccer and chemistry, because of my scheduling conflicts,” Sakho said. “School is the most important thing on my list so I sometimes have to do school over sports.” 

Sakho explained that although tutoring is very helpful, many students feel scared to go tutoring, especially at LASA, because they feel embarrassed to admit they need help or don’t understand something. He once shied away from tutoring too, but realized that it was good for him.

“I definitely recommend that if you are struggling, don’t hide it and fail, and don’t care what people think, because tutoring helps,” Sakho said. “Just go to tutoring, try your best, and maybe it will help you and maybe you’ll start to like the subject more and want to succeed.”

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