I'm 34 and studied Politics and Philosophy at Bristol University. I'm friendly and easy to get along with and have been a full-time private tutor - tutoring in politics, philosophy, economics and history - for about seven years now.
I've tutored over 100 A-level and university students on a one-to-one basis, over a wide range of subjects and topic areas. This has typically involved sessions of between one and two hours, either online or in person, usually once a week during term time and often much more frequently in the build-up to exams. I'm generally able to be very flexible about specific days and times, so more often than not it's possible to arrange, cancel and generally reschedule lessons if need be.
I have also helped students by providing essay feedback and coursework advice (in person and online). This has usually involved me helping to structure essays and develop a deeper and more coherent argument.
I try to put a fair amount of emphasis on understanding and mastering exam technique, and approaching the course material in such a way that it is learnt in the context of how it is eventually going to have to be deployed (i.e. in an exam situation). I have a lot of experience when it comes to working with those demands; my knowledge and appreciation of essay structures and mark schemes - more generally: what examiners are looking for - is something that I make sure I'm up-to-date on and thereby able to communicate effectively to students.
I try to let the student set the agenda and define the content of the sessions as much as possible; everyone learns in their own way, and I try to use this to our advantage. This means that sessions will often be comprised of general trouble-shooting and discussion, or the focus may be on coming up with (and practicing) an essay template which the student is comfortable with, or it might just be focused on a specific topic area which has caused problems in the past.
The first session will most likely involve us working out a general plan of action for the weeks and months ahead, whilst also helping us to identify what we will need to be focussing on, as well as what style of learning and approach to revision would be most effective. Sometimes the area(s) most in need of attention will be apparent from the start, or sometimes it will emerge over the course of the first few sessions.
A fairly typical routine that frequently emerges involves spending the second half of a session discussing a specific topic or essay question, during which we will develop an essay plan which can be used as an aid in writing the essay up (or fleshing out the plan for it) for our next session. We would then typically spend the first half of that session going through the essay/extended-plan. The second half of the session would then be spent discussing another topic, or another essay question within the same topic (to be written-up or fleshed-out for next time).
Sessions tend to be more about discussion and interaction than anything else. I find that the best use of the time is to actively interact with the subject matter and address specific areas of difficulty (relating, for example, to conceptual appreciation, factual knowledge, exam-technique, structuring, time-management etc). This kind of learning can also be integrated into the regular assignments that have to be done anyway - but with more of an emphasis on going into extra detail through discussion, and making sure that the information and concepts are being properly and fruitfully absorbed. So much of learning is about establishing the fundamental concepts and techniques so that the rest of it makes sense, and, in my experience, people tend to understand and remember things (especially core concepts) much better if they discuss them actively, rather than relying on passive absorption through reading or uncritical note-taking.
Of course, all of this has to be backed-up by learning certain facts and definitions etc, but I think it's important that this learning process is guided and given context by a genuine appreciation of what it's all about - and what will be required in an exam. This is something I will discuss with students, and work on over time.
I like to think that my enthusiasm for the subjects comes across when I'm tutoring - certainly in the past I've managed to get students interested in particular aspects of their subject which may not have been communicated to them appropriately or relevantly before.
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|Bristol University||2006||Bachelors||2.1 in Politics and Philosophy|
|Brighton College||2003||College||'A's in Economics, History and Politics (at A-level)|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|