As a private tutor, I have the pleasure and the privilege to work with an amazing set of young people. Each and every one I see is, or becomes, a highly motivated student. The great results and academic success of my students is the result of a working relationship that we establish and build over the terms, and often school years, that we work together.
What has been interesting over the years is that the students I see are often described very differently by their parents!
Grouchy, sullen, unenthusiastic and bored are just a few of the terms that I frequently hear as descriptions of teenage children especially. This is often combined with a seeming disinterest in Maths and/or Science, apparently. He’s just lost interest. She can’t stand the subject. They’re statements frequently made by bemused and frustrated parents.
One is reminded of the Harry Enfield character, Kevin the Teenager. If you haven’t seen it, there’s a remarkably resonant (and funny) clip on YouTube well worth a watch. At the stroke of midnight, heralding Kevin’s 13th, darling Kevin changes from an excited 12 year old, to a tantrum-throwing teenage monster. I’m sure more than a few parents will be able to relate!
However, these are not the students that I see!
Sure, they are bound to have their off days, and this is largely driven by tiredness, particularly deep into any given term. But, by and large, they are usually eager to engage and to learn.
It is reminiscent of being told that your child was a delight to have over for tea, when they’ve been monstrous for you at home. As a parent, sometimes it simply beggars belief!
The beauty of being a private tutor, is that I am able to give undivided attention to my students. It’s all about them in that moment. Helping, guiding and building confidence are all part and parcel of my role.
This is equally true in small group tuition settings, when along with myself, a few other students are admitted to the inner circle of confidants.
In this respect, private tuition isn’t only about academic attainment, or achieving exam successes. It’s about injecting some fun and some passion back into learning and into the subjects for which enthusiasm may have waned.
The newly-found enthusiasm and confidence aids learning, which in turn accelerates achievement.
It’s a cycle that I see repeated every year and one that I immensely enjoy being a part of.