Extra help has always been a resource at IACS. Every teacher has a weekday that they stay late for an extra hour after school to offer assistance to any student that might need it. Most students at IACS have been to an extra help session, whether they were required to come to make up something for a teacher, or needed clarification on concepts taught in class. Extra help can be an important tool for both the student and the teacher.
Why is extra help necessary? According to Laura Dougherty, a math teacher, extra help is essential for more productive work time. When asked why she has students come to extra help, she responded “I have a lot of students who come and do revisions, or make up a test… Usually it’s clarification on whatever we talked about in class that week.” Dougherty also said “[Extra Help] allows me to do more one on one help with students which is really hard to do in a class of 20.”
Students can’t always make it to extra help, however, which often conflicts with outside commitments. Junior Ashley Scholastico, who has a job outside of school, finds that her job sometimes inhibits her ability to go to extra help. “If I get called into work, I can’t back out of that, but I can’t back out of school either.” Scholastico said that often, teachers are flexible about meeting during school and on different times throughout the school day, but that doesn’t always work.
Not only are students’ schedules busy, but teachers’ also find it difficult to find time for all of their students. Dougherty expressed how she wished she could be more available more. “If I was available more often, it would be easier for students… but that is difficult with my schedule, because I can only stay after so many days.” said the math teacher.
How can teachers and students combat these scheduling conflicts? Some options that came up were extending the time for extra help, or adding more days for extra help.
A teacher in the science department, Heather Aceto-Delorge, offered that she should be more available for her students. “I find that students have things to do and places to go. They’re all on teams and they have practice. They’re already sacrificing by coming, which is great, but they do need to go to their other commitment, so other days would probably be helpful.” Aceto-Delorge said that having more days for extra help would help her give more help the her students, without encroaching on students’ extracurriculars.
As with most things other scheduling conflicts and pursuits in school such as sports and extracurriculars, extra help is just one more figurative ball to add to a student’s already impossible juggling act.