Recently, Wilton High School‘s National Honor Society (NHS) has broadened the scope of the tutoring services its members provide to the community, adding a new area of academic support.
Tutoring has been offered to high school students upon request for specific subjects, but the NHS members felt they could make an even larger impact. Tutors now have begun working with middle schoolers, providing advice to sixth through eighth graders on studying and organizational skills known as “executive functioning.”
Executive functioning is critical for learning and retaining information, which is why NHS recognizes it as something its tutors need to provide for other students. Offering help for core academic classes is definitely important, but without proper studying skills, organizational habits and self-monitoring practices, it’s difficult for students to succeed in school.
Executive functioning was introduced to the National Honor Society by WHS English teacher Eric Mendelson, who works as an instructional coach at the high school.
“While our teachers think hard about how to help our students learn and get assignments done well, extra help is always a good thing; and who better to learn from than your classmates,” Mendelson explained. “I highly recommend students take advantage of working with NHS students. We can all use help figuring out the best ways to organize ourselves to find success both in and out of our classes.”
Soham Damle, NHS vice president and head of tutoring services, said that COVID-19 has made these services especially necessary.
“The typical course of learning was altered with the introduction of Zoom meetings, online tests, and easier workloads,” Damle said. “As a result, many students lost some of their important study habits, and were unprepared when school started in full-motion again.”
Damle added that this is not only “vital” for preparing students for the rest of the school year but for their lives ahead of them as well.
While expanding tutoring services will increase the workload for NHS members, they are all up for the challenge. Everyone is willing, and even excited, to help more students than they ever could before. Current NHS tutor and senior class president, Olivia Newfield, shared her thoughts.
“The relatability of student-to-student connection allows for an open conversation and a greater connection of trust,” Newfield said. “I love the feeling of helping out other students, and I think the expansion of the NHS curriculum only strengthens that trust and creates a wider sense of community in the school.”
Jo Gallagher, the NHS advisor at the high school, expressed her appreciation for the NHS members who are taking the time to reflect the four pillars of the Society — character, scholarship, leadership, and service — while also providing benefit to the community at large.
“I can not think of better executive functioning tutors who can uniquely support their peers by sharing their strengths and experiences in planning and organizing,” Gallagher said. “I am so pleased to see that 20 current NHS members signed up to service their school community in this particular area of study. It speaks to the incredible student body we are so fortunate to have as part of our National Honor Society here at Wilton High School.”
The National Honor Society leadership hopes that both WHS and Middlebrook students will continue to utilize the tutoring services as much as possible, especially with the new added services. Anyone in need of academic support, whether it be for a specific class or executive functioning help, should request a tutor through a request form on the NHS website!
Wilton High School senior Bella Andjelkovic is president of the National Honor Society, and wrote an early version of this article for the school’s newspaper, The Forum.