By Johanne Patry, remedial teacher at Collège Bourget
In order to support students who are experiencing certain difficulties, Collège Bourget has set up the CAP, the Peer Help Center. This is a project in which the fourth and fifth secondary students help the first, second or third secondary students.
To ensure the success of this project, the school made use of the remedial and psychoeducational services and the direction of the pupils. For the first year, we targeted the basic subjects, namely French, mathematics and English. Thus, this made it possible to observe, analyze the assistance service and readjust if necessary.
There are three components to setting up such a service:
Middle School :
- Provide training to student tutors (how to be? How to act? ...);
- Pair tutors with a subject teacher;
- Credits the student tutor for obtaining his diploma;
- Provide space for meetings.
The tutor must:
- Demonstrate ease in the chosen subject;
- Demonstrate diligence, altruism, empathy and availability;
- Commit to taking a training course;
- Refer to the subject teacher.
The tutee must:
- Commit to their academic success;
- Identify their needs;
- Show results of less than 69 %;
- Demonstrate diligence and openness.
With the hindsight of a first year of the CAP project, Collège Bourget can say that everyone is a winner in this approach. Parents call on the service to meet the specific needs of their child. Teachers, for their part, target students and can use their participation in the CAP as a means in their success plan. Some students apply for the services of a tutor themselves. Finally, student tutors take their role very seriously, because they know that they make a difference in the academic success of a peer.
Thus, the tutored student regains confidence. His perception of the controllability of tasks increases which positively influences his commitment and his academic motivation. In addition, we see the beneficial impacts, both for the tutor and the tutored, in terms of school perseverance, motivation and self-esteem.