Under a partnership with the MassHire Cape and Islands Workforce board, select seniors at Mashpee Middle-High School are participating in a paid internship program where they mentor and tutor students in 7th and 8th grades.
Michael Looney, director of the school’s Career and Technical Education Department, said the program has about 25 seniors participating, and it has gone well since the students underwent their orientation at the beginning of the month.
Seniors in the program are paired with 7th and 8th grade students in several different ways. The guidance department evaluated the seniors and determined where they would be the best fit. On the other end, the school contacted the families of students in 7th and 8th grades to let them know of this extra help opportunity and see if they felt their students could benefit from it.
Once the evaluation was completed, the seniors were either paired with a middle school student one-on-one, or they were assigned to a classroom. In both cases, the senior tutors are available every other day to help middle school students with work during the last period of the school day.
For students assigned to a classroom, the process is slightly different.
Shivani Patel, a senior at MMHS, is assigned to a classroom. She works in Kierstyn Bohl’s ancient civilizations class for 7th graders.
Every other day, Shivani remotely sits in on the class and observes. Then, during the last period of the day, she is available to help students in the class over Zoom.
“This internship specifically has helped me to reach out to other students. Typically, in high school, you don’t get many chances to tutor kids in middle school,” Shivani said.
So far she tutors one student, but anticipates dealing with more students soon.
Shivani said the experience so far is “eye-opening” on many levels. As someone who wants to major in psychology next fall, she likes to observe the students on an individual level.
“I’ve been really interested in how their minds work and how they are adapting their learning style and how different learning styles can be from one student to another even in the same classroom,” Shivani said. “I think tutoring for me makes me more focus on the person than the subject.”
Mr. Looney added that it is a great opportunity for the seniors because not only do they have the responsibility of a job, but they also get to experience school through a new perspective.
“They’re looking at it from the perspective of educational support. They’re seeing it through the eyes of an educator,” he said.