Above and Beyond: Math Peer Tutors

The purpose of Math Peer Tutors is for students to support other students in an academic way. It also provides students with teaching opportunities and allows them to share their enthusiasm for mathematics. Math Peer Tutors was started in 2016 by Brenda Bullock Brickley ’69 in the math department.

Anyone can sign up for a tutor or drop in during open office hours. So far in the 2018-19 school year, 38 students have received tutoring from 11 peer tutors.

In order to be a tutor, students must be in an upper level math class, have high grades in her math classes, and complete an application. Ms. Brickley makes final decisions on all tutors.

When they meet:
Tutors currently hold open office hours on Wednesdays, from 7:50 a.m. – 8:20 a.m., however they are also available by appointment during study halls, open lunch, and after school. One tutor even met her student on the weekend!

Why it matters:
“On my first day, I was shown to a peer tutor, and I ended up staying with her the entire year. She was so flexible to work with, and it was really nice too because I could send her math problems through text/email and she would answer them at nights and on the weekends.

She really wanted me to succeed! At the beginning of the year, I was making some C’s and the occasional D. After spending a year with my tutor, I was making B’s and the occasional A! She was so helpful, and I still ask her sometimes for help on math. I absolutely loved having a peer tutor.” – Rachel Bruce

“Math peer tutoring gives me the opportunity to interact with underclassmen. It is such an incredible feeling when the student finally understands a concept that they have been working on, and I love being able to facilitate this.” – Eve Maddock

Ms. Brickley can also attest that students who come to tutoring do better in class. “My students’ grades have definitely improved after coming to tutoring,” said Ms. Brickley. “And those that have received help have told me that it is a wonderful experience, and at the very least has helped with their confidence. I see this is really true as they continue to see their tutors without much pushing from their math teachers.”

In 2018, Ms. Brickley received the Hearts at Work award for the Math Peer Tutors. Hearts at Work is an award given out every year to a faculty/staff member who has goes above and beyond the call of duty. The recipient needs to have identified a need in the school community, and designed and implemented a thoughtful solution that positively affects a majority of students and/or faculty.

“The Math Peer Tutors program is great!” said Head of School Renata Rafferty. “It multiplies the number of students who can get one-on-one help when faculty members are assisting others. Sometimes, all it takes for a student to understand or apply a math concept is hearing it explained in another way. And in working through problems or lessons with students asking for help, the girls doing the tutoring deepen their own knowledge and understanding of the subject.”