Super Student Aids!
By: Maxwell Kasten
If you need help on an assignment and the teacher is busy, need more explaining on something, or you just would rather have student help, then an SSL comes to the rescue! Sometimes having a student aid in the classroom can be more beneficial than having an adult aid because the adults sometimes don’t know the feel of the student classroom environment.
Student Service Learners (SSLs) are high school students who help the teacher in the classroom, almost like an intern. SSLs are generally juniors or seniors and have been introduced to many high school classes for three to four years, and usually have taken at least a year of the class they aid in.
Mr. David Lillard, a Biology and AP Biology teacher at Oakdale, expressed that he finds SSLs to be very beneficial to the classroom. “They’re helpful because they speak the language of the students.” Mr. Lillard stated.
He said that an SSL is more familiar with interacting with students as a student, and even better if the person has taken the class they’re aiding for.
He says they help him with the little things he doesn’t have time to do himself, like grading and other tasks. He said, “They’re cool to have around and quite helpful to me.”
Mr. Lillard commented, “Once they warm up to the environment and the students, they’re interactive and helpful to students in need, sometimes more than the teacher is.” They know how to help other students because they are one, he added.
Mr. Lillard’s student aid, Sarah Case, is a junior at Oakdale. She said that she enjoys being an aid for his class. She expressed that helping for his class is “beneficial because you learn how other students learn.” Sarah says student aids are useful for the teachers so they don’t have to do as much when they already have tasks at hand.
Senior Madeline Kullgren, a Spanish student, says she loves being an SSL. “I love Spanish, so being an SSL certainly helps with extra learning since I’ve already completed all years of Spanish. It keeps it fresh.” Madeline aids for Mrs. Jonell Caliskan, speaking Spanish with the students and helping them learn the way they find most beneficial. She expressed she finds herself to be helpful to the teacher and students, she keeps up with grading and interacting with students who want help.
Throughout the semester and the year, students and teachers can need some additional help. Student Service Learners can create a more approachable and natural environment for student learning.