The purpose of this case study is to highlight how a Tutor Doctor tutor and the Tutor Doctor tutoring offer, can make a life-changing impact upon learners’ lives.
Alex’s mum contacted my office on February of 2019 requesting tutoring support for Alex in maths. The family had been searching for a while to find a good tutor for Alex near where they lived and were in fact prepared to travel on a weekly basis to work with one.
I was called to carry out a free consultation.
In discussion with Alex and the family it was clear she had great potential but her confidence had taken a knock recently, and this, coupled with a teaching style that was not suited to her learning style meant that there was concern that she would not achieve the level 6 she was aiming for. It was clear in the consultation that Alex could succeed, if the conditions were right; a good fit with a teacher who had a good rapport with her, a teacher who understood her as a learner, one who could into account her learning style (visual learner) and was able personalise learning for her.
Alex’s family signed up for 24 hours of tutoring, to be carried out over 3 months and with a scheduled end just before the GCSEs started. Our highly impactful X Skills programme was included as part of the tutoring programme as it was felt that this bring added learning benefits that would be sustained across other areas of learning and over time. At the beginning of the tutoring, Alex lacked confidence and had just scored a L4 in her mock exams. The goals of tutoring were to improve Alex’s confidence and self-belief, and to work with her to improve her maths skills so she could achieve a L6 in the mathematics GCSE.
A tutor was assigned and worked with Alex for 24 hours delivering maths tutoring, X-Skills coaching as well as a support and guidance for other subjects. By the end of the tutoring sessions the tutor, student and her family were all happy with the way things had gone. The tutoring had been personalised and personable, had been responsive and adaptive. Alex was definitely feeling more independent, more confident and happier! This feeling of success was born out by the success in GCSE terms in which Alex achieved a L6 in maths and achieved well (L6-L8 range) in whole host of other subjects. The tutoring had worked in every way possible.
But how? What were the ingredients of this success?
In discussion with Alex’s mum and the tutor it became clear that there were a number of factors, each one of which is part of the Tutor Doctor offer.
One key element was that the tutor and the student’s personalities matched. Both had a dry sense of humour, they both ‘got each other’, there was empathy, and both liked to use visual approaches. This match was facilitated by our unique matching process which enabled us to match the student with the tutor who would be a very good fit. It was this personal element, this ‘fit’, that enabled the student and tutor to gel, on a personal level. They got to know each other, which, in turn, enabled the tutor to personalise learning so that Alex could learn, in her way, in her time. Alex really trusted her tutor. Learning is such a personally emotive issue that often it is the case that we need to trust in order to learn.
Another key element was the X Skills programme. This aspect of the tutoring programme, in which the student is coached through the week’s tasks, priorities, plans, goals and obstacles helped Alex her to feel more in control. Control builds empowerment and confidence which feeds into success, creating a positive virtuous cycle. The family reported that it was the X Skills programme that enabled her to achieve strongly in other subjects, despite there being no direct tutoring in them.
The tutor tuned into Alex’s style of learning; she was a visual learner and she was encouraged to use strategies to that utilised her best way of learning (there had been instances, in her school, of her visual styles being actively discouraged) and this in turn brought the best out of Alex. So, highlighting of key words was ‘in’, as was mindmapping, drawings, doodles and colours! All helped her learn within the unique, personable, but professional, teaching and learning space that tutoring provided.
Not least of all, was the importance of the skilfulness of the teacher- an experienced teacher who had taught across the age range and was a true educationalist. A teacher with real expertise and great subject knowledge.
These features enable Tutor Doctor Mildenhall to provide a highly skilled and bespoke offer which is highly effective. Our approach has helped students increase their GCSE subject grades by two levels with a 4-month period (note; over a small sample). We have successfully achieved our aim, of positively impacting upon the trajectories of learners’ lives.
We are Tutor Doctor; this is how learning hits home!