Why the pandemic has convinced me to become a tutor

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Lockdown has been a time of lost education for many local children. As the government announces plans for a ‘national tutoring revolution’, Altrincham-based tutor Gaby Rodden says there’s never been a more important time to benchmark your child’s learning 

Schools in the UK have been forced to close their gates on two separate occasions through the pandemic. It has been a tough time for everyone; parents having to juggle their work whilst trying to cover the curriculum with their children; and children adapting to a new life where everything and everyone lives on a screen (my class initially put up their hands to the screen asking to go to the toilet in the comfort of their own home). 

We live in a fantastic area, a place which in 2020 was voted the best place to live in the UK. But what does that mean when our children can’t go to school? The place where children socialise, gain stimulation and develop their sense of belonging? 

Children this year have got by, sitting on the kitchen table across from a screen with 29 tiny boxes on it. Teachers trying extremely hard to keep the class engaged whilst covering new concepts in maths and literacy, constantly thinking about assessments, the children’s wellbeing, whether they are actually taking anything in. Transition to home learning was a disruption for virtually every child in the UK. 

Altrincham-based tutor Gaby Rodden

As a primary school teacher, school closures meant an extremely quick turnaround: checking through the weekly planning, making it online-friendly, changing the classroom around, thinking of wellbeing activities for the children and mentally preparing myself to be split in two; teaching children in school and online. 

The children loved coming to school, for the purposes of not only seeing their friends but for the constant praise when getting an answer right or progressing in something. Whilst daily activities were sent home for children to complete, it was just not the same as doing it with their class, their community.

Having seen the lost learning for those at home, I decided to use my teaching expertise and become a private tutor. I had already been tutoring for a few years alongside my teaching role getting children prepared for SATS or the Phonics Screening Check, but lockdown changed a lot. 

According to new evidence by Juniper Education, data taken from 6,000 primary schools showed that ages six and seven were the ages most likely to fall behind in maths and writing. As an experienced Key Stage 1 teacher, years 1 and 2 are essential times to get the key foundations of maths, reading and writing embedded in a child’s development so that these key concepts can be built on. This is what children have lost out on. 

As a tutor I want children to discover their own potential and have the confidence to fulfil it. I see parents wanting to benchmark their children within the class, as opposed to knowing whether they are well behaved in class. With extensive knowledge of the curriculum, I can provide a checklist of what children need to fill any gaps. 

So why pay for a tutor when you can just Google and do it yourself? I perform an assessment of each child to understand their needs. Lots of children have lost self-esteem through the pandemic and so I build strong rapport with my students, making them feel less intimidated about the material they are looking at. 

I see parents wanting to benchmark their children within the class, as opposed to knowing whether they are well behaved in class

I create a low-pressure environment in which my students can thrive. I find the best learning format for the student, whether that be visual, concrete (physical objects) or abstract. I think it is important for children to understand how they learn best, and I like to give my students insights into this. As a tutor I can alleviate some pressure you might be feeling and offer curriculum advice as well as setting assessments to track your child’s progress. 

There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a child progress and grow in confidence. Students with higher self-esteem are more inclined to take an active part in their education (Phillip, Smith, Modaff, 2004) and I’d be delighted to help your child discover and explore their education further. 

For further information, call 07787 161366, visit the website or follow @GabyRoddenTuition on Facebook.

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