This is now my fourth semester tutoring "MAT 104: Calculus II" at Princeton's McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. Hearing this often comes as a shock to my friends given that I'm an English concetrator, but that's part of the reason I love Princeton: we are encouraged to pursue interests outside of our concentration. I took MAT 104 during my first semester, and I visited McGraw every other week or so for support on problem sets and exam studying. That's why, when I finished the class, I knew right away that I wanted to tutor for the course the following semester.
McGraw is one of Princeton's many resources for support on campus, offering peer tutoring in math, chemistry, biology, physics and much more. Students can sign up for individual tutoring or just drop in for group sessions. Last semester, I worked individual tutoring shifts, where I had recurring appointments with several students. I always had a passion for math, specifically calculus, as well as teaching, so I looked forward to these sessions each week.
The fall 2020 semester at Princeton is certainly different, to say the least, but I was incredibly impressed by how McGraw worked to shift their tutoring services to a virtual platform. This switch happened at the end of the spring last semester when we moved to virtual classes. Now having learned from their trial run in the late spring, McGraw made many changes so that virtual tutoring could feel as close to in-person tutoring as possible, utilizing Zoom breakout rooms, virtual white boards, virtual trainings for tutors and so much more. McGraw also recognized that schedules are constantly shifting during these unprecedented times, and students may need more support than they did in the past given that we are not on campus, so they now offer a lot more tutoring slots for students.
I am excited to tutor again this semester and work with students to support them through the course. It is the best feeling when a student comes back to me and tells me that they did well on an exam or that they feel more confident in class. I look forward to seeing how tutoring continues to help students virtually thrive at Princeton.