English Tutoring Sparks Learning Enhancement during Covid

Lauren Hengehold and Tymen Giller

 The English Dept. is implementing the plan known as Learning Loss Mitigation Funding Proposal to increase student-teacher connection while simultaneously providing students with enhanced learning through online tutoring.

Mrs. Hansen, SVHS librarian and co-chair of English Department, voiced her admiration for teaching in person, explaining that when “you’re right next to somebody, you can just point at the word you mean, or you can point at their keyboard;” however, teaching online continues to limit her ability to help out in a fast paced manner. 

“To me it’s just a lot slower and more cumbersome.” Although technology has its errors, SVHS staff works hard with the school’s IT department, finding ways to create a learning environment that transitions smoothly for the students.

The proposal utilizes “instructional time and services by… focusing on reading and writing across the curriculum.” The school has come up with an agenda to accommodate the administrative tutors, “paying two teachers per session to provide evening and weekend sessions for tutoring.”

When asked about whether or not she has ever participated in something like this before and if so, what, Hansen stated, “I’ve done things like this before for finals in English and history, tests, and AP prep, but not an online session.” She shared her experience in teaching, an impressive 23 years of helping students grow and better their academic abilities.

During her first experience with the new program, last Tuesday Hansen taught English language learners of different grade levels, explaining that “teachers worked a lot with students on assignments that were missing, and there were some students that appreciated the extra help just with going over directions.” 

She continued, “We have students of all grade levels, not just language learners by any means, who are confused about Google Classroom still, unsure of where to find something or what the teacher’s pointing them at.” Elaborating on the intent behind participation, she voiced, “I think a lot of it was kids who had gotten behind and wanted to catch up, so they took advantage of this time, given the chance to win some prizes as well as get some work done too.”

Students who attend are put into a raffle where they win prizes. The weekly session prizes include a Sonoma baseball cap, a Sonoma sweatshirt, as well as an Amazon Echo Dot. Hansen then shared the grand prize is a set of airpods.  

The tutoring sessions will continue until December 13, as the funding is stemming from a combination of the state in compensation for learning loss, as well as SVHS. For anyone interested, the Zoom links to weekly sessions can be accessed through the SVHS website.