Another “PIF Education Blog” from Tanya Moore
Empowering a teenager
Private tuition sessions, on and off for about 2 years, covering English, Science, History and Geography.
A student approached me after class one day and asked if I did tutoring sessions, I replied ‘I can do’. I gave her my details and her mum phoned me that evening.
The sessions were arranged and began running on a regular basis.
We explored, discussed, and pondered over a variety of topics, sometimes I became lost in the flow of learning and forgot the time! If she had a question, we discussed all possible solutions and answers, looking at it from all angles, until she realised the answer to her question.
During English we explored values and goal setting. We did a few different exercises to discover what was really important to her. Then, she wrote out her goals and very clearly said ‘if I want to achieve (…) then right now it would be good for me to work on proof reading my work and apostrophes’.
This doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a big difference to a student, if they can understand what they need to be focusing on in their school work, and they can understand how it links to their goals. Alternatively, a teacher could write on their book ‘targets – learn the apostrophe rule and always proof read your work’.
As I learnt more and more about teaching, I taught everything to her. If we studied a topic, we didn’t just look at the syllabus, we talked about how it applied to her and how it is relevant. We made connections between topics and sub topics, so that when she came to review she could retrace over all the links.
One day her mum asked if I could teach Science, I hadn’t taught science before and was keen to reignite my passion for it. The student was also very enthusiastic for us to study science together.
Using principles from accelerated learning, we covered the course syllabus very quickly. She was understanding and remembering the topics, and she was enjoying herself! We went to the Science Museum to engage with the course material in an experiential, hands on way. Then we discussed everything we had seen, and explored how we could apply memory techniques to remember the experience.
In the tutoring sessions we started to use her laptop more and more. It was clear she loved interacting and engaging with friends online and sharing resources. I taught her how to build a website, so that she could share what she learned in our lessons with her friends. She already knew that teaching something is a great way to learn and remember it, and she was regularly explaining her work to her younger brother. Now, she could write blog posts about her topics for revision and share it with friends.
She said to me ‘can I share this site with my friends?’ YES! Then a few weeks later she talked passionately about how her site was helping some of her friends with their revision too. She was enjoying teaching!
She used the different techniques in her exam revision and in her exams, so far she is pleased with her results and she is waiting on the results of some other subjects.
What skill do you have that you can share with someone else?
Teaching doesn’t have to be in a classroom and it doesn’t have to be English or Maths. How about we just teach others about kindness?