Peer Teaching in Gadsden County

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In Gadsden County, school officials have implemented several programs aimed at helping its students become successful in the classroom.

At James A. Shanks Middle School it's students taking the lead. Alondra Rodriguez and Lacresha Johnson are one of several kids paired together in a program called "Peer Counselors” at James A. Shanks Middle School.

Teachers match high performing students with those who need extra help.

Andreka Mathis said, "We feel that students learn better from other students and we pair them together so they can talk amongst each other and get feedback and answers from each other."

And so far the kids are reaping the benefits.

Shanqresha Murray said, "I was making Ds and Fs and I didn't understand none of the questions until we started getting into groups and improving now. I'm getting Cs and Bs.

Students say this one-on-one style of learning from peers is the ideal tool to help boost their confidence and help them make academic strides.

Justice Blair said, "It helps my grade, like if I don't know then he may know the answer, then I can learn from him and my grade will go up."

In addition to the increase in high grades, the program helps kids who have language barriers comprehend the lectures.

Roxana Rosa added, "Two minds are better than one and I can learn more and I can get the questions more clearly."

From intimate peer counselors to tag team teaching, James A. Shanks teachers say they want to arm their students with all the necessary tools to help them score high marks in the classrooms and on the FCAT.

Teachers say they've seen quite a few students improve thanks to the program. In fact, the kids develop strong bonds as a result of this peer counselor program.