Working with young people has been the best the decision I ever made. Not having had an easy childhood, I grew up feeling insecure, lacking in confidence and sometimes invisible.
Three subjects that carried me through like a comfort blanket were English, History and German. English because I could escape into my imagination; History as my teacher – Mr Field – was so inspirational – and German as Mrs Brown spoke to me with the softest voice and kindest smile that I felt she believed in me. Boy, I needed that…
By the time I was 15, I discovered Harper Lee’s, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – an incredible story about standing up to hatred and prejudice. Atticus Finch, Scout and Jem’s father, loved his kids for who they were. I could only dream of that.
But it did restore my faith that there WERE good people out there who never let you down. Something I carried with me from then on..
Learning curves aplenty
When choosing A Levels, English and History were the front runners along with Business Studies. But on returning to school after the summer break, the shock of my life awaited.
My beloved History teacher, Mr Field, had committed suicide during the holidays… I was beside myself with grief. Mr Field – my A Level teacher, had leapt in front of a train. What must he have been going through, nobody knows.
Looking back, my experiences helped me see that everyone is in battle at some point – often with themselves. I realised too that it wasn’t just me in turmoil.
Tuition is more than teaching a subject
As my career progressed, I left classroom teaching behind to specialise in one-to-one tuition. This drive to look beneath the surface has helped me support some wonderful young people – many who felt they were of little value.
What sort of issues did young people have?
- Anxiety that was so severe that they couldn’t leave the house
- Learning difficulties that de-railed them
- Crippling lack of confidence, interest or shyness for all sorts of reasons
Whatever has damaged a young person’s life, I’ve learnt that kindness, patience and encouragement are the three essentials that they need. Once trust develops, tuition means more than teaching a subject.
To my students, I become a mentor on their side – someone who never gives up on them. This has truly been life-changing… Every success story inspires me to keep going as well.
As an English specialist, I tutor children from age 6 to 18+. Everything from English, 11+, GCSE, study skills to History! Local to Chichester, I also tutor online wherever you are.