My Passion for Tutoring
I think I was born to be a teacher. From a very young age I would come home and 'play schools' with my younger sister, who was always the pupil. My bedroom became my classroom, setting everything out that I needed to perform my teacher role perfectly. I even once dressed up as a teacher for our local towns children's fancy dress competition. It was therefore inevitable some might say, that after secondary school I would go to the University of Edinburgh and study for a BEd Hons in Primary Education.
I started tutoring, when I became a mum and wanted to continue teaching but without having to leave my own children.. When I begun, I really didn't expect it would feel any different from classroom teaching. What I've discovered in the last few years, is just how different it is, and only for the better. No longer do I feel like I'm drowning in paper work, constantly trying to deal with poor behaviour or managing a huge range of needs. Doing all of this too, without the appropriate resources and support needed, to make any significant impact.
I started tutoring small groups of children from my home and year on year it has grown. Working in small groups, I can really get to know the pupils and understand so much more about how they learn. I can build better relationships and help to improve their confidence. The approach is much more hands on, with the freedom and flexibility to plan and record only what is needed and not required. Most importantly I get to do what I studied 4 years for, TEACH! There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing you have taught someone how to do something. Seeing the recognition in their face that they understand and are able to demonstrate what they have learned, even passing on this knowledge themselves to a peer. This is why I love teaching and why I have grown to love tutoring even more, its the best of teaching.
My contact with parents is very different too. In a school setting, most parental contact is to share information, like an event or school activity. Learning is often discussed periodically through the year, and only outwith, if there is a real concern. Time is a big factor in providing more positive and productive dialogue between home and school In tutoring the contact happens weekly, with a more positive focus on what is going well as well as where things can be improved. I discuss how parents can help support the learning at home with follow up tasks directly related to what we have been learning in the group sessions. Overall, the contact is more beneficial for everyone involved, with real meaningful dialogue between home and tutor.
I still do class teaching and enjoying being in a school setting on a part time basis.. I think it's important for me to remember what a difficult job it is to be a classroom teacher. I don't know what the future has in store, but I do know my heart lies in tutoring. As long as children and families need my support, I will keep on doing it. 😊