By: Vivian Wang
PLACENTIA, CA – The National Honor Society (NHS) at Valencia High School is responsible for representing the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Each week, Valencia High School’s NHS hosts the Tiger Tutoring Program to support students in their school work through tutoring and mentorship. In a student’s junior year, select students receive an invite from the Valencia High School NHS advisors which includes an application to join NHS. Scholars who are admitted to NHS automatically become volunteer tutors for the Tiger Tutoring program. NHS scholars must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA, pursue a rigorous course load, and volunteer at least six hours at Tiger Tutoring. At Valencia, Ms. Lauren Bakunas and Mr. Calen Rau oversee all of the National Honor Society activities.
In previous years, Tiger Tutoring was hosted in Valencia’s library. Tutors were dispersed throughout the library and placed at different tables. Each table emphasized a different subject, ranging from biology to calculus. Students could bring their textbook to a tutor so that a tutor could guide the student through the question.
This school year, Valencia NHS’s Tiger Tutoring transitioned to an online format such that all tutoring sessions have been hosted on Zoom. This free tutoring program is offered every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afterschool, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. In stark contrast from the traditional format of Tiger Tutoring, this year’s online format for Tiger Tutoring has allowed the tutoring program to expand; elementary school students can also join the sessions for school work help. An article posted on Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District’s Good News Report explains that the Tiger Tutoring program has expanded to elementary schools including Melrose, Ruby, Morse, and Van Buren. Elementary students and current Valencia High School students do not have a limit for the number of tutoring sessions that they may attend.
During the Tiger Tutoring sessions, a tutor is matched with a student; they are then moved to a breakout room where they can engage in a back-and-forth conversation about the school work, whether it be a difficult math problem or a higher-level Spanish novel. Tiger Tutors complete a mandatory training program so that they could learn how to properly tutor a student. Tutors have been trained by the NHS advisors to engage with their students through Socratic Questioning, a teaching method that empowers the students to find their own answers with inquisitive thinking. Implemented by the Tiger Tutors, Socratic Questioning requires that the tutors do not explicitly share answers but rather guide the student to the answer by asking questions.
Shweta Shah, a Valencia High School senior and Tiger Tutor, comments, “Tiger Tutoring is a great place for seniors in the National Honor Society to help students not only at Valencia High School but also at nearby elementary schools. The times I attended Tiger Tutoring as a tutor, I was fortunate to tutor a fifth grader in mathematics. We began with long division and two-by-two multiplication and later began working with fractions. It was the most gratifying thing to see her understand these foundational math concepts so she can succeed not only in her current math class but also in the future.”
Tiger Tutoring will continue throughout May as students enter the peak of AP testing season and end of year examinations.