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Abeline Watkins

Science › Biomedical Physiology + Kinesiology › Active Health, Fitness & Wellness
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I always felt like I was pretty good at explaining concepts to people when they had no idea what was being taught in the classroom. I also have six siblings who are all younger than me, so I've been teaching people how to do things for a long time. All this experience became a transferable skill when I began peer tutoring.

I became a peer tutor because I did really well in BISC 202: Genetics, so I was asked if I could tutor for Genetics. Because I hadn't done anything with SFU as a volunteer (I did all my volunteering outside campus), I thought it'd be a good opportunity to actually participate at SFU. I also loved the idea of being able to tutor your peers, so they don't have to go to a TA or prof for questions. They can just go to another student who took the class, understood the material, and could actually explain the concepts to them better.

A lot of the questions that I get asked as a peer tutor revolve around what is expected, rather than how to do a certain question. Typically, students have asked me questions like, "Do I have to do this problem the same way as the prof taught it, or can I do it my own way?" and "Do you remember how they mark that question?" Those types of questions are more common because students are not going to ask the prof about how they mark their assignments. However, a student can ask another student how the prof marked their work when they took the course.

It’s great being on the front lines of making sure that your students are going to do great when they ask for your help. I recall having a student who didn’t do well in their first and second midterm, but when it came to the problems we worked on, they received full marks. So the program does work for students, it actually helps them because it is more question-based, as opposed to us saying, “Oh, this is how you solve the question.” It’s very rewarding to see how much a student has grown through your instruction.

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