Writer: Rachel Haas
I first became involved in peer coaching in the second semester of my junior year. I was looking for a way to help out around school and a chance to meet some good people. Every Tuesday and Thursday in Bison Time, I would learn how to effectively help and coach kids on various subjects, but because of the time constraints, I rarely had an opportunity to help and coach someone.
When second quarter of my senior year drew closer, I had an empty block to fill. I debated finding a class to fill it or mentoring for a teacher, but then I remembered I could peer coach in the library. I quickly talked to Mrs. Sparks and had everything filled out and ready just as the first day of the new quarter arrived. Immediately when I walked into the coaches area that first day, I knew it would be a good quarter. The area is so cozy and open, and the staff are so kind.
Not only did I get the chance to be a peer coach, but I also was able to familiarize myself with the library in general. I often worked in the stacks re-shelving books or just organizing them and helping with their appearance. One of my favorite tasks to for the library besides coaching is to find books to put on the color display. By doing all this, I found myself finding books to read that I never would have found or been interested in reading until now.
I have been given the opportunity to coach for individuals as well as help out entire classes over the course of the quarter. After each coaching session, I feel great knowing that I was able to help someone out. It is rewarding to give back to someone in a unique way such as this, and I also learn more by talking about different topics and putting my thoughts to words.
In the future, I hope to have more opportunities to peer coach and maybe even do something similar at the college level next year at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I advise anyone who is struggling in a class, needs to talk through a paper, or even wants help on a college essay to stop by and anyone who is passionate about learning to volunteer your time as a peer coach.