During Semester 1, Australian International School (AIS) began its own Maths Buddy Tutoring Programme on a trial basis. The programme involved IB students in Years 12 and 13 giving up one hour a week after school to tutor younger students in Maths.
Commenting on the programme, Mr David Gakowski, Maths Teacher at AIS, shared “I am pleased to say that the programme has started again in Semester 2 with 13 students receiving one-to-one tutoring. Feedback from students being tutored and their parents has been positive and all of the students who started in Semester 1 are continuing in Semester 2. Many asked to continue with the same tutor.”
For the IB Diploma students, Maths Buddies counts as a Service Activity for their Creativity, Action, and Service course. However, from the comments of some of the IB student-tutors, tutoring has become something more than simply completing a course. One student tutor shared that “Maths tutoring is not without its struggles, but it is definitely rewarding seeing the students gradually improve and have more confidence in themselves.” Another student said, “This has been a rewarding experience as I was given the opportunity to accompany a student through her journey in mathematics while putting many soft skills into practice.” Whilst one other student tutor observed that “Teaching others is an advanced method of revising. My participation in Maths Buddies allows me to revise the content of my own course.”
It is clear that the programme fosters positive relationships, as well as academic outcomes between the older and younger students at AIS. One of the student tutors summed it up by sharing, “Throughout this activity, I realized one important thing: that to be a good tutor and have effective sessions, I need to understand the maths level of those I am tutoring so I can keep on track for them. The activity is quite fun when I can show off my maths knowledge, and impress Year 12 students with my maths ability. If someone comes and asks me if I want to do it again, my answer would definitely be yes.”