For a wholesome, educational take on Valentine’s Day, I’ve pulled together a list of five things I love about the work that we do and the young people we support at Action Tutoring.
1. The curiosity and humour of the young people we work with. Be they primary or secondary pupils, the children we support never fail to put a huge grin on my face. They are resilient, hard-working, ambitious, and deserve the very best we can give them. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, or the last thing at the end of the day, I’m always touched when my pupils – who have so much on their plates and so many different pressures and deadlines – still find time to ask me how I am, tell me a joke, or share a story. We may be there to tutor maths and English, but the relationships we build bring it all to life.
2. Being part of so many different school communities. I have felt privileged to learn from and deliver programmes in a whole host of different schools across London. Staff have welcomed me, let me observe their teaching, and collaborated to make Action Tutoring a success for their pupils. Each teacher is committed to developing and championing their young people academically and pastorally – it’s amazing to see what a difference their care makes to each child.
3. The diversity of our volunteers. I have been lucky to meet, train, and work alongside so many inspiring people from all walks of life, and see the myriad gifts and skills they bring to us and to our young people. Each volunteer on our programmes brings with them new avenues for connection and new approaches to learning – many have studied outside the UK too, and their perspectives enrich ours. Watching positive working relationships grow between our tutors and pupils is one of the most rewarding parts of my role, and underpins the academic growth of our young people.
4. Having such supportive, committed colleagues. This job comes with joys and challenges aplenty, but carrying each of us through is a tide of support from our co-workers. The Action Tutoring team – spanning eight cities – is a network brimming with bold and creative ideas, care for how one another are, and complete dedication to the pupils we serve. There are spaces for debate and reflection (and lots of laughter), and I have learnt so much from shared wisdom and feedback from my peers. We strive for better each day, inside and out.
5. Fostering a deeper connection with my city. Working in the charity sector has allowed me to see different facets of the city I live in, and the places where policies and lived experiences meet one another. I have learnt about and travelled more of London; I have observed in small pockets of the city the relationship between national politics and the individuals it affects; and like colleagues of mine all over the country, I have seen glimpses of the next generation’s potential. I feel more connected to the chaotic and wonderful place I’ve called home for the last five years, and with that comes an ever greater desire to see its youngest flourish.
If you’re looking for a way to give back to or connect with your local community, nurture yourself and others, or are interested in joining the team, consider supporting Action Tutoring in a whichever way you feel you can. Donating, tutoring, marking, fundraising, promoting… if you’re keen to help, we’d love to know.