Peer Tutoring Adapts under COVID


Cherim Kang, Campus Reporter

As most students are well aware, COVID-19 affected everything this year from academics to school life to weekend activities. Specifically, students had to adjust to using Powerschool more often, Blue Key and K-POP activities were drastically modified, and there were less in-person meetings for most clubs on campus. And Kent School Peer Tutoring was no exception. 

In normal years, Peer Tutoring has been held at the library, lead by Ms. Florio and Ms. Pendergast, with peer tutors who specialize in Research & Writing and Math & Science available every night during study hall, except Saturdays, to help students with any subject they need help in. Peer tutors help their fellow students with their homework, test preparation, test corrections, citations, and even research papers. This service has long been an oasis for freshmen who are lost in Biology and sophomores who have no idea how to properly cite their resources for their first history research paper. However, this resourceful service could not be run as usual this year because our thoughtfully selected tutors were spread all over the world, which meant a shortage of tutors available on campus who could do face-to-face tutoring, not to mention that many Kent students who might want to use the service were not on campus.

To find a solution, Annie Yang and Rebecca Cohn, Research and Writing tutors, stepped up to devise a program that would allow students to enjoy the service both in person and via zoom. In addition, they made peer tutoring available in both the library and in dorm common rooms. Also, every night a peer tutor is on duty, he/she joins a zoom link so that they can help as many students as possible, regardless of whether the student is on campus or on the opposite end of the world. Rebecca Cohn says, “So far the program is going pretty well. As restrictions on campus were changed a few times, we have had to tweak the schedule a few times, but overall, we are just glad that it can continue in-person as much as possible.” 

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has caused difficulties for every facet of the Kent experience this year, the peer tutoring program is yet another example of how resilient students can be in overcoming the challenges and continuing to keep things as consistent as possible.