It was a given that franchisees and tutors with Tutor Doctor were excited to attend the first ever National Tutors Conference hosted by The Tutors’ Association. The event gave tutors from across the UK the chance to get together, share ideas, participate in important topical discussions as well as attend workshops to hone their skills as professional tutors. Held in the wonderful setting of Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, it really couldn’t have been a more fitting venue, considering the buildings steeped in a long history of learning.
What’s the event all about?
The day, which included a truly inspirational address by former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, represents a landmark moment for the tutoring industry. The Tutors’ Association are committed to professionalism within the private tuition sector and bringing tutors together. Tutor Doctor is not only a proud member of the association but also serves on the main board. The attendance, organisation and quality of the speeches and seminars is testament to how far the tutoring industry has come, and the day lived up to its theme of establishing a ‘Legacy of Learning’.
Talks and Presentations
Proceedings began with an introduction from Adam Muckle, President of The Tutors’ Association. Even though his background is in law, Adam is a successful full time private tutor, showing that great tutors really do come from a myriad of backgrounds – not necessarily teaching.
Ariana Azad, Trustee and Education Lead at One Degree, (a mentoring charity that supports underprivileged children through their GCSEs) then provided delegates with a truly insightful presentation of the work One Degree does. She gave amazing examples of how mentoring can benefit struggling students, especially those with a difficult background. One Degree’s fantastic mentoring program also demonstrated just how beneficial extra coaching and attention outside of school time can be to students. The confidence it gives them to pass their GCSEs and go on to pursue their own ambitions in careers and further education was truly inspirational.
Finally, Ex All Black Captain, regaled delegates with stories of his time as an All Black: from the low point of his international career, to winning a rugby world cup, and almost retiring before eventually captaining his country. His witty, incisive and unapologetically blunt assessment of the importance of hard work, sacrifice and enjoying oneself struck a chord with all those present. Indeed, there is perhaps no one more fitting to discuss the subject of a legacy — whether that’s the legacy of success on the pitch or in the classroom — than an All Black world cup-winning former rugby captain, and proud representative of the most fearsome jersey, and most successful team, in world sport.
Amongst the talks and presentations, delegates were also able to attend various seminars aimed not only to inform but also inspire.
Planning and progress- What is required of a tutor to achieve their ultimate goal — which is to be no longer needed by the student.
From identifying core skills, working on areas of weakness, thoroughly knowing the syllabus, being honest with clients and realistic about goals, to using innovative teaching methods and establishing exactly what a certain exam or style of question requires. The seminar was packed full of advice on how tutors can help students make the most out of sessions, irrespective of if they’ve been struggling at school.
The World is a classroom – A discussion about using the world around us to unlock understanding within a student.
Delegates learnt about different learning styles within students and how to use this understanding to deliver the very best learning experience for individual students.
Empowering Students - Using our shared knowledge and the expertise of an experienced tutor leading the discussion.
Tutors from across the age/experience/subject spectrum shared their greatest challenges while tutoring, discussed ways they can be addressed and looked at various strategies for empowering and motivating students in a one-to-one setting. These included different teaching ideas, dealing with parental expectations, de-motivated or apathetic students and how to construct a setting that is conducive to teaching, even within someone else’s home.
Learning Difficulties - How a tutor can help a child with learning difficulties or special educational needs, and identify what to do if they encounter such issues.
The speaker discussed practical solutions and methods for tutoring those with dyslexia, dyscalculia, Asperger syndrome, autism and ADHD. It also touched on how a tutor can help students learn to cope with these difficulties.
All in all, the conference was a wonderful day full of learning, sharing, inspirational words and motivating stories. Tutor Doctor is extremely proud to be an active member of The Tutors’ Association, helping to shape the future of our sector. If you would like to know more about the TTA please click here.