Volunteer Tutor at St.Gabriel's College on finding a new social group and experience

Jenny is one of our wonderful volunteers at St. Gabriel’s College in Camberwell, and is also the Programme Leader at Mount Carmel School in Archway. She works freelance for theatres creating captions for deaf audiences and whilst looking for volunteering opportunities in the New Year, Jenny came across Action Tutoring and thought it was a great idea. Jenny enjoys exploring the option of doing something for free when you’d usually do something that you get paid for, ‘I like taking away the transactional quality of doing work; volunteering with Action Tutoring makes work feel quite different.’


Jenny has also supported a one-off maths revision day at St Gabriel’s college. She found tutoring a particular part of the syllabus with each pupil really engaging and fun. At the end of the day there was a celebration for all of the pupils, where they were thanked and received achievement certificates. The teacher then did a presentation about the programme and Jenny was delighted to see a quote from one of her pupils saying how great she found the tutoring. She describes feeling chuffed for the pupil and took pride in the fact that she was making a difference.


Jenny explains feeling prepared for tutoring but admits that there was a slight amount of uncertainty. She feels that the trick is to have confidence about the mastery of the subject and also confidence in yourself and your social skills, ‘Don’t worry too much about the role of being a teacher, just use what you have to engage young people who don’t know as much as you and pass on some of that knowledge.’


Over the course of several weeks Jenny felt she was able to engage the pupils that were not as interested in the beginning. She shares that the pupils are not shy about being honest. One said to her, ‘I’m really glad I’ve had tutoring and I understand that now’. Jenny feels that by encouraging that honesty you can create a good working relationship with the young people. Jenny has learned that she really likes teaching and describes how Action Tutoring helped to rekindle an interest that was always there. She has enjoyed tutoring young people and is thankful for the opportunity to regularly work with her pupils, noting that she has ‘seen just how much capacity and enthusiasm young people have to learn. The ability of the young people is quite inspiring.’


‘I think these days we tend to specialise very quickly in our lives and get caught up in salary and mortgages. Being a volunteer tutor is work, but it’s not doing something solely for yourself.’ Jenny describes finding a whole new social group and experiences during her time with Action Tutoring and acknowledges the benefits of being in a far less pressured environment than working for money.


Jenny feels that it is important for people to be involved in education, as it is fundamental to society, ‘A great amount of taxes and political discourse go into education; Action Tutoring helps people get involved in the education system.’ Jenny continues that by saying, 'if you are not getting involved you are missing out on a big part of society.' Jenny thanks Action Tutoring for the opportunity and ‘Hopes to continue tutoring as long as possible!’