Spotlight: Tutoring at LAHS

The Griffin Lab and math tutoring programs at Los Alamitos High School provide free general tutoring to students outside of school hours.

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Jason Khan

A sign directing students toward Griffin Lab in the media center.

Jason Khan, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Many students struggle around the clock with academics; sometimes, one of the main aggravators of this concern is simply a lack of understanding.

“Los Al teachers…set up in the media center, and students can go to them if they have questions with homework if they need study tips or just general help,” Ms. Barton, college and career guidance technician, said. The lab provides computers as well as a quiet place to study for those in need of one. Griffin Lab sessions take place on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning. In addition to Griffin Lab sessions, for students that seek help in math, there are tutoring sessions with math teachers before and after school. Schedules for math tutoring can be found in the media center.

“Deconstructing the questions into separate parts allows for the problem to be easily interpreted,” disclosed Ruby Flaim, a student tutor for American Sign Language (ASL). She pointed out that this way of going about the task at hand allows for easier identification of any problems with student understanding. Thus, Flaim may correct issues and the student is able to gain a better comprehension of classwork. Concerning study tactics, Flaim sees flashcards as a reliable way to digest study material:

“Ultimately, flashcards [both] allow for customized studying and compel…students to develop a further understanding.”

“I can complete my homework in a space where I can [really] focus…One thing I value is…the teachers that [assist] at Griffin Lab…I am able to talk to someone who understands what I’m working on…I am able to ask more in-depth questions that individually help with what I’m answering and [that I] would not be able to comfortably ask in class,” Willow Bremsar, freshman, said. Bremser believes Griffin Lab significantly helps with subject comprehension.

“Tutoring and teaching are two very different things,” Ms. Brucculeri, a math teacher and tutor, said.

“Really listening and understanding where [pupils] are confused,” is an important aspect mentioned by Brucculeri that is only present in the tutoring process.

“Writing rather than thinking or saying it,” as stated by Brucculeri, is one of the most effective tutoring methods. Great emphasis was put on how visual aids that are written out are integral to student comprehension. With knowledge of the correct iconography, students can better figure out where they may have erred. Brucculeri’s favorite part about the tutoring process is getting students to have an epiphany in response to a prodigious increase in understanding.

Griffin Lab aids students with many different needs; from study tips to a quiet workspace, this program serves as an asset to many students who wish to increase their academic prowess.