Volunteer tutor, John Uren, describes his experience balancing tutoring on an Action Tutoring programme with working for the Civil Service.
For an hour every Thursday afternoon, you’ll find me tutoring English Language online to a pair of students at a comprehensive school in South London.
Am I a professional tutor? No. Do I have years of experience tutoring as a side-hustle? No. Am I equipped with the tools, training and safe-guarding knowledge to tutor? Yes.
I easily balance volunteering with my work commitments, and Action Tutoring even cover the cost of a DBS check!
This is arranged through Action Tutoring. A national education charity dedicated to supporting young people facing socio-economic disadvantages to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment. This enables them to progress in education, employment or training. Action Tutoring do this by pairing high-quality volunteer tutors with primary and secondary school pupils to help build maths or English subject knowledge, confidence and resilience.
Anyone can volunteer and it’s just one hour per week. Programmes last over school terms, and all training, resources and safeguarding information are provided. I easily balance volunteering with my work commitments, and Action Tutoring even cover the cost of a DBS check!
After completing my training with Action Tutoring, I remember being particularly nervous ahead of my first lesson. What if I won’t know what to do? What if the pupils don’t like me? What if they think I’m an idiot? But it was a brilliant experience, and I have thoroughly enjoyed tutoring ever since.
I admit that not all of my lessons run perfectly, yet over time, it has been incredibly rewarding to see my pupils gain confidence in their abilities and grasp a greater understanding of the topic. You don’t need to be an Einstein or Shakespeare to deliver effective lessons!
I’ve gained confidence, and the skills I’ve developed are transferable to many other areas of life.
Leading a tutoring session each week also provides plenty of opportunity for personal development! Including understanding how to pace and structure a lesson, how to keep your pupils engaged, and how to communicate difficult concepts simply. I’ve gained confidence, and the skills I’ve developed are transferable to many other areas of life.
Did you know? Before the pandemic, disadvantaged pupils were, on average, already 18 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school. Projections suggest that school closures could widen this gap by as much as 75%. Every session Action Tutoring provides is vital in closing this gap.
If you’re interested in signing up to volunteer with Action Tutoring, or just looking for more information, please fill out the following application form. This is a fun, interesting and important way to volunteer – open to all!