News & Insights 13 March 2020

Tutor Spotlight

Kevin started tutoring with Action Tutoring at a primary school in Dalston in
January 2018. He then joined Pakeman Primary School in Finsbury Park in May
2018, where he has tutored ever since. He has been an extremely reliable,
enthusiastic and warm tutor, only missing three out of sixty sessions! We
could not ask for more.
What has also been lovely to see is that Kevin has also made a good friend at
his first school in Dalston, who also joined him at Pakeman Primary School.
They have become the feared duo at our North London pub quiz socials, often
winning or being a close second.
We asked Kevin some questions about his time at Action Tutoring…
Three ways volunteering as a tutor surprised me:
“As a current maths tutor for Action Tutoring, it’s been really surprising to see how
what is expected of younger children has increased compared to when I
was at school in the 1980s. The lack of calculators is also a surprise to
me, as I was practically attached to one through most of my schooling.
The ‘quality time’ you spend with the kids really seems to make a
difference to their knowledge. Though for me, without any teaching
background, it’s also been an eye-opener seeing how important it is for
tutors to take on learning tips and tricks.
Lastly, it’s been a welcome surprise to find a new friend in my local area
through tutoring. Having someone else to talk to about tutoring and
what goes on week-to-week has been really beneficial.”
I knew I’d made a difference to my pupils when…
“Well, it’s been a relief that the test scores my children have received
after my tuition have generally been higher than when they began! But
the clearest examples have been when I’ve made targeted attempts to
improve their knowledge in a certain area, and then my own testing a
week or two later has seen some of the teaching and methodology I’ve
given repeated back to me. In other words, examples where things
seem to have ‘sunk in’ where weeks earlier it was very hard going. It’s
worth adding that I myself had previously learned tricks and tips from
Action Tutoring. Understanding something yourself is different to
explaining it to someone else.”
Three reasons why I keep coming back to volunteer as a tutor each year
“As someone who went to school in North London, and has seen how
hard it is for many children to progress (for a wide variety of reasons),
it’s been tremendously rewarding to give something back. Visiting
schools not far from where I lived has brought back lots of memories,
and working with the kids helps me feel young.
I used to really enjoy mentoring people I worked with, but now as a
freelancer, tutoring has plugged that ‘yearn to help learn’ gap.
You definitely feel appreciated by Action Tutoring and the children. You
feel you’re making a difference.”
A huge thank you to Kevin and his continued dedication to Action Tutoring
and helping tackling educational disadvantage. Here is what his Programme
Executive, Emma, at Pakeman Primary School had to say about him:
“What I love about having tutors like Kevin at a school for so long is that
it becomes routine. He always comes in in the morning, coffee in hand,
and says “alright mate” and it makes me smile every time. I would
genuinely miss his presence if he discontinued tutoring. Not only that,
but he always comes to me with his concerns and questions after a
tutoring session. You can tell he cares and gives his sessions a lot of
thought. He really wants to do the best by his pupils and that is all you
want as a coordinator. His pupils really enjoy working with him; they’re
always smiling but working hard. Aside from tutoring, I love that he is a
stalwart at our North London socials. He brings the same enthusiasm
(albeit with a large competitive spirit) to the socials that he does to his
tutoring sessions. Kevin’s great!”