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Meet Stephen: His tutoring and teaching story

14 June 2024

Stephen has been inspired by the pupils he has taught and tutored. He wanted to make a difference, learn new skills before embracing teaching, and see a pupil say ‘I get it’. Through Now Teach and Action Tutoring, he’s done just that. Read on to find out more about how his tutoring experience has developed his confidence and passion for teaching.

My reasons for teaching

Like many, I was inspired by tutors and teachers during lockdown. My children’s teachers ran some amazing online sessions. They were so patient and enthusiastic. During a very difficult time for the kids, once teachers appeared, my children’s faces lit up.

In my school days, I had a very inspiring physics teacher. He encouraged me and introduced me to material well above the standard curriculum, which helped me in my career.

I’m always inspired by enthusiastic and energetic people I work with, including my PGCE leader. His lessons and, in particular, his classroom management are incredible. Throughout the last 2 years, I’ve aimed to recreate his lessons and develop the same enthusiasm and dynamism.

Pupil appreciation

It was also new and interesting to be called Sir.

Before teaching, I had minimal classroom experience. During COVID, classroom access was very limited. Now Teach then introduced me to Action Tutoring to get some experience and it’s nice to feel helpful. It’s even greater to tutor children who wanted and needed the help and today I still remember the pupils’ appreciation. While they didn’t find the subject easy, it was nice working with them. It was also new and interesting to be called Sir.

Lots of learning

Overall, I’ve learnt a lot. Through tutoring, it has been really great practice at listening, understanding pupils’ knowledge, and highlighting where we needed to focus. That was amazing and I now use many of the things I’ve learnt during tutoring.

Most vitally, it gave me something invaluable to share in my Initial Teacher Training (ITT) interview.

On the right path

Action Tutoring gave lots of amazing advice on lesson structure. We were well-connected with pupils and their teachers. This includes the school I tutored at having teachers that enabled the pupils to tutor. 

The kids behaved brilliantly too so I could focus on delivering maths sessions. Action Tutoring also provided many great resources including question sheets and question booklets.

Tutoring has helped me believe teaching is right for me. I really needed the experience and I’m grateful it has been really positive.

Now Teach’s support: Connection and much, much more

Be a magpie, collect things.

Now Teach has been hugely helpful. From updating me on the application process and presenting the different options, they showed me what would be tough and how to brace myself.

They introduced me to fellow trainees and it was great to be in WhatsApp groups with others making the career switch. The best part was connecting with other parents. About 10 of us had near identical experiences before teaching. We could share challenges and solve problems, which I would have been unable to do with anyone else. That network was amazing. Now Teach connected me to people who have written the book on being a teacher and a parent.

There was a person who gave me advice on collecting evidence throughout the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). It made it much easier. Be a magpie, collect things. It saved me so much stress compared to people who hadn’t had Now Teach’s advice.

There have also been fantastic lunch meet-ups where we compare notes. Through these, I sometimes feel like I’m constantly getting better. We meet older and newer cohorts and it is amazing to share words of encouragement to those joining the club.

Advice to those considering teaching or tutoring

Get as much experience as you can. Teaching is a completely different job from what you may have done. I love it though it isn’t for everyone. Try before you buy. Initial teacher training is a long time so make sure it is right for you. Teacher training is the hardest bit and knowing whether you like being with the pupils is important. If you can teach pupils something it gives you a great sense of satisfaction. The pupils really open your imagination. Do try teaching or tutoring, as it can be great.

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