The Lit Center’s New Zoom Operations

The Lit Centers New Zoom Operations

By Celina Saba, Staff Writer

Before COVID and its unprecedented effects, students could expect to walk into the Lit Center and see Ms. Tamar Boghossian, known to most as Ms. B, smiling from behind her desk and welcoming incoming students. For now, however, seeing Ms. B and the tutors behind a screen will have to do.

Bringing the Lit Center online has its obstacles, but student tutors and teachers will adapt. According to Boghossian, migrating to online tutoring will be a work in progress.

“We are all learning as we go. Do I think it’ll be productive? Yes. We just have to work together to ensure everyone is taken care of in a timely manner and get the job done,” Boghossian said.

Mr. Ryan Geu, a math teacher who also tutors in the Lit Center, understand there will be challenges when tutoring students over Zoom, but he is staying optimistic by finding alternative tutoring methods.

“Students will have the ability to share their screen with me, and it will force there to be a dialogue about the problems/topics, which is what we want in our math tutoring sessions anyways,” Geu said. “I also have a variety of tech tools that will allow me to visually show the tutee steps in the problems where they are getting stuck.”

When the Lit Center opens for tutoring, students can access a recurring Zoom link which will be used during the Lit Center’s open hours:

Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m.-1:50 p.m. There will not be any tutoring during the scheduled break every day from 11:00 a.m.-11:50 a.m.

Once a student enters the Lit Center Zoom, they can expect to be greeted in the main room by Ms. B. Unlike before, the student will not be required to give their ID and name to Ms. B, and instead, they will inform her what subject they need to work on. The tutor request form that in previous years has been on the Lit Center website will no longer be used. A student can, however, ask if a specific tutor is available when they join the Zoom. Once the student is paired with a tutor, they will be sent into a break out room. When they are finished, or if they have a question for a teacher, they can exit the break out room and either speak to the teacher or leave the Zoom.

Some student tutors are excited about the prospect of working with other students online.

“We’re fortunate that we even have the Lit Center over Zoom as an option. It’s an opportunity for tutors to step out of their comfort zones and look at new ways to help other peers,” junior Emily Kim said. “Hopefully, all goes well, and we can tutor students as best as we can as if we were together in person.”

However, other students note that the challenges of remote learning may get in the way.

“I think it’s unlikely I will utilize it as much due to the lack of in-person, individualized instruction, especially when it might be simpler to find a Youtube video explaining what I may need help with,” sophomore Eva Schultz said. “What really made the Lit Center useful was the fact that it was in-person help from a peer or teacher. I also think it’s just a lot harder for both the tutor and the student to communicate.”

At the end of the day, the Lit Center will be there to support the students and is committed to making the best of it.

Mr. Geu said it best: “I am so impressed with the number of student tutors that are willing to offer up their free time to be available to help tutor! We have a lot of amazing students at Niles West, and here is one example where we see them shine.”