UPLB summa cum laude graduates share insights with LRC PEER tutors

9 May 2024 | Jennina Marie M. Mora |

Two UPLB summa cum laude graduates shared their insights and experiences with 23 student tutors of the Learning Resource Center (LRC) at the Promoting Excellence through Educational Review (PEER) Tutorials Training Sessions, held on April 27, 2024 at the LRC Office.

In discussing tutorial tips and strategies, BS Mathematics graduate Nicolaitte Amor P. Alubog and BS Biology graduate Diego Leandro L. Contreras discussed their meaningful learnings, best practices, and effective strategies as former LRC PEER tutors in mathematics, biology, and chemistry.

Alubog began her session by asking volunteer tutors to prioritize various aspects of their lives, including academics, family, health, and hobbies. Each of these priorities has corresponding balloons of different sizes, and the tutors must carry all of them without letting them touch the ground.

Asked if he thought he managed his priorities well, one of the volunteers, economics PEER tutor Gaddiel Dorado, said, “‘Yung kanina parang oo, pero in real life, feeling ko nandon pa ako sa process ng [pag-manage]. Kasi ang dami [kong] gustong gawin, pero bilang fourth year, dun na makikita na may ma-sa-sacrifice talaga.”

“Pili ka lang ng dapat gawin. ‘Di kailangan gawin lahat especially pag ‘di na talaga kaya,” he added.

Alubog wanted to teach the tutors that “[Dapat] marunong kang humingi ng tulong. ‘Pag alam mong hindi mo alam o hindi mo kayang dalhin lahat, kaya mo naman magpatulong sa iba. Tapos as volunteers, pwede rin kayong tumulong, magsalo kayo ng ibang students na nahihirapan sa [academics] or sa pag-manage ng time nila.”

She then summarized her experiences as a PEER tutor according to the ten points of wisdom: facing one’s fears, managing time well to rest and recharge, overcoming nerves, embracing humility, participating in training and activities to broaden knowledge, and finding a family in LRC.

“Kaya hangga’t nandito kayo sa LRC, i-treasure niyo na, i-seize niyo na ‘yung moment na ‘to, at i-make sure niyo na fruitful ‘yung stay niyo dito. Kasi somehow mag-iiba-iba din tayo ng path,” said Alubog, who now teaches at the Mathematics Division of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Like Alubog, Contreras found the sense of volunteerism he sought through the PEER Tutorials program. He emphasized the Filipino word for peer, kapwa. “Nandito tayo kasi peer tutors tayo. Kapwa natin [ang mga tutees]. Tulungan natin sila just for the fact na kapwa natin sila,” he said.

He reminded PEER Tutors to communicate with student tutees even before the tutorial sessions, prepare ahead of time, and master the specific topics that tutees want to consult on.

He encouraged them to strategize when translating complex topics and to use various learning methods such as mnemonics, practical applications, sample problems, and handouts.

To further improve their teaching skills, LRC services, and learning connections with tutees, Contreras reminded tutors to send evaluation forms and necessary reviewers, respond to any clarifications, and end sessions on a motivating note.

He also highlighted the importance of always being willing to help and grow, just as he was when he decided to volunteer as a PEER tutor before taking the National Medical Admission Test.

“It is often through our most innocent generosity that we get our most expensive rewards,” he concluded, adding that the knowledge and experiences he gained have proven invaluable as he pursues a medical degree at UP Manila.

Joshua Michael G. Jonas, LRC university research associate and PEER Tutorials coordinator, thanked Alubog and Contreras for sharing their insights with the current pool of tutors.

“We have faith in you to be exemplars in the art of teaching, not as professors, but as someone who facilitates collaborative learning. You bridge the gap between what they know and do not know. ‘Yun ‘yung role niyo bilang mga peer tutors, and I hope you see the value in it,” he said.

The PEER Tutorials program, re-launched in 2022, is a component of LRC’s Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) Learning Sessions. These sessions help UPLB undergraduate and graduate students review and better understand challenging lessons in five subject clusters: mathematics and engineeringbiology and forestrychemistryagriculture and economics; and physics, statistics, computer science, human ecology, and nutrition.

LRC holds regular training for PEER tutors to develop their tutoring skills and foster personal growth. The next session on psychological first aid is on May 18, 2024.