Peer Educator Roles
You may act as a tutor in office hours, review sessions, help sessions for writing a paper or the development of a project.
Class assistant (in or out of the classroom)
You may lead small group discussions, help with quizzes, occasionally teach a skill, help with field trips, exhibits, websites, help faculty gather materials, or make suggestions to your faculty supervisor.
Bridge between faculty and students
Often the faculty member will have lower office hour attendance because of the peer educator and will lose touch with students. You should give feedback to the faculty supervisor about what’s going on with the students. You can also clarify to the students in office hours what the faculty member’s expectations are.
Since you will not be doing grading, you are welcome to make yourself seen by the students as an ally. If students tell you about problems they are having with the class or faculty member, you can (anonymously) bring them up.
You will be typically an older and more experienced student than the students in the class. For that reason, the students will sometimes come to you and ask for some kind of mentoring. This could include how to choose classes, career issues, ect.
Teacher of study skills
The faculty member often does not have time in class to address ways students should study for a class. In office hours, you will have a more relaxed atmosphere in which to share study skills. You can share your own ideas. It is also a good idea to learn new ones that might not be best for you and present those also. You can learn new ones by observing how the students learn.
Roles NOT to Take
From the guidelines: Normally peer educators will not grade other students’ work, except in instances in which the faculty member makes it clear that the grading fits within the goals of the program.’‘ If you are asked to help grade then you should be learning about teaching or the material of the course itself. If not, talk to the program director.
You should not be doing the faculty’s dirty work to save them time when you are not learning from it.
You should not give an unsupervised lecture. If asked to do otherwise, talk to the program director.
You are a PEER educator: You are not expected to be an expert or have all the answers. This is a common misconception of peer educators.
This graphic depics a Peer Educator (in blue) helping students, perhaps during office hours, a writing colloqium, or a review session.
The Peer Educator can be seen as a bridge between the student and teacher. Peer Educators must be accessible to both students and teachers, and act as a liasion with both of them.