Teaching is my third and final career and I love it. I have over 22 years experience of helping students of all ages and abilities achieve their goals. I am a qualified teacher with 14 years in classrooms, teaching English and law, and I'm also a qualified journalist and solicitor.
The word tutor comes from the Latin tūtor, or “protector.” It’s a variant stem of tuērī, which means “to guard.” Like an extra guardian, tutors help to guide their learning, paying special attention to areas of interest or struggle, and offer students the chance to learn in a way that’s tailored to their individual strengths, needs and abilities. That's what I do, and I use the myriad skills I have learned through training and vast experience to do just that: escort your child from where he or she is, to where they need to get to, achieve what they want.
I offer face to face tuition from age 4, and online or face to face tuition to students above age 7 .
I found school very challenging myself, so I completely understand why many very bright students don't do as well as they could at school. The truth is, school isn't always the best place to learn.
Since 1998 I have helped literally thousands of students to:-
* improve their grades almost immediately
* achieve grade A/A*/9 in GCSE English literature and language;
* get into a wide range of top London schools including:-
St Paul's Girls, St Paul's Boys, Henrietta Barnett, Tiffin Girls, Eton, UCS, and Harrow, as well as Merchant Taylor, Godolphin and Latimer, Haileybury, Hampton, John Lyons, Notting Hill and Ealing, Kew House, St James', Kings College Wimbledon, Haberdashers Askes, St Helen's Northwood, Northwood College, Royal Masonic, Habs Girls, Northbridge House and Latymer Upper.
* write excellent EPQs.
I also help children aged 4 and above who are struggling with English, French or maths.
In 2019 I had five GCSE students who attend state private schools, and three who attend private schools including St. Pauls Boys and Latymer Upper; I am pleased to say that out of the 8 GCSE students, 7 got grade 9 for both English language and English literature.
With the cancellation of the GCSE exams in 2020, I took one home schooled boy through GCSE and he achieved grade 8 for literature and grade 7 for language.
As for my 11+ students, this year all of them got places at their first choice schools which were NHE, Latymer Upper, St Benedicts, Kew House, Tiffin Girls, Henrietta Barnett and Northwood College.
I also see several adults on a regular or ad hoc basis, for example Claudette who is 58. I helped her with GCSE English in 2016. She's now about to complete her degree in physiotherapy at Birkbeck. I also supported her during her Access course.
My first teaching experience was as a volunteer, teaching Adult Literacy from 1985-1987 while working as a freelance journalist. From 1995-7 I taught at a local boys preparatory school - Durston House - while completing my vocational training part time as a solicitor.
I began tutoring fulltime in 1998 when I realised that although working in the law is fascinating, it's not a lifestyle I want, and I have been tutoring ever since.
From 1999 to 2012 I was teaching English fulltime in a sixth form college which specialised in English at all levels from Functional Skills and IELTS, to academic English i.e. GCSE, Access, and A Level language, literature and lang/lit. I qualified as a teacher in 2007. While at the college I continued to see a few private students, especially Japanese students. In 2012 I returned to fulltime tutoring.
Ad hoc help:-
Apart from tutoring, I also help adult students with their theses and dissertations, teach them how to edit their work properly, how to ensure that they are not straying off topic, and how to improve their vocabulary and expression. I can do this online or face to face.
I am able to help prepare for the university examinations that have been brought in to supplement A levels, following the catastrophic mess since March 2020.
Help with personal statements, applications for research grants and CVs is available face to face or via Google docs is also available. .
Children- and adults- with disabilities:-
In the last 20 years I have taught literally thousands of students and many of them have had disabilities including deaf students, visually impaired students and students with cerebral palsy, as well as students with learning difficulties including AS, APD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia and ADD/ADHD. I have studied the growing problem of both ESOL and native speaking English students who have difficulty in drawing inferences from what they read. My method of teaching uses a very carefully selected range of texts to focus on intensely, in order to determine whether further investigation is appropriate. I am not qualified to diagnose autism but I have successfully taught many students on the spectrum.
Last year my homeschooled student, Jude, achieved grade 8 for literature and grade 7 for language. Unlike school students whose grades were based on their teachers' predicted grades, Jude was thoroughly assessed by an external examiner with timed exam questions, including vivas. When I met Jude, three months after he began to be home schooled, he was achieving grade 4 in literature and grade 3 in language at his secondary school.
Alongside teaching, I have studied the psychology of learning and have many tools at my disposal to teach the skills that today's students and job seekers need. If you are struggling in school, college or university, it is not your fault. My job is to ensure that you do not need a tutor as quickly as possible while offering ongoing support if necessary.
I believe that given the right atmosphere, attitude and support, anyone can learn anything. A stressful environment makes learning almost impossible, so my lessons are extremely relaxing. Students are usually amazed at how fast the time passes. At the end of the session I ensure the student understands everything covered in that session, and may ask for the student to complete an appropriate length homework to bring to the next session.
My motto is "self talk determines destiny" and I help students to unlearn the idea that they can't do something.
My approach is first to ensure that I am the right tutor for the student. The first session is designed for the student (and their parents) to assess me, as well as for me to work out the student's current level of ability and their learning style.
In subsequent sessions the most important thing is to ensure that the student has no gaps in their understanding of the subject and what is required. So I always begin at the beginning and usually students progress very quickly through the first phase. Once they are reasonably confident and have caught up with their school's expectations, I begin to stretch them, at their own pace.
I believe that students want to do well but are self-conscious and dislike asking for help at school as it makes them feel stupid. Lack of basic understanding results in lack of self confidence which can easily develop into becoming withdrawn or disruptive in class, or hating the subject.
It is quite easy to turn the student's attitude around once they realise that they can succeed, so I do a lot of confidence building exercises and use praise and humour to help them see what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right.
As a result of this, their self esteem is enhanced and they become more willing to contribute in class and take risks, rather than sitting in the back of the classroom praying for the time to pass.
I use my own resources which I have developed by studying assessment criteria and objectives of all of the boards (ISEB, AQA, Edexcel, OCR, WJEC) as well as the specifics of GCSE and IGCSE. For 11+ and CE I use a wide range of texts that are demanding and lend themselves to students learning how to explore linguistic effects.
I prefer to tutor at the student's home because I think students feel more secure and relaxed in their own home, however students can of course, come to me if this suits them better. Parents are welcome to sit in on sessions as long as the student feels comfortable with that. I am always happy to consider teaching friends at the same time to keep costs down (max group size 4 students), and am happy to negotiate an appropriate rate for group sessions. Such sessions take place in my home.
Please note the following:-
1. I will split the introduction fee with you 50/50;
2. I charge a supplement of £7.50 to travel upto 5 miles and a residents parking ticket if necessary, or reimbursement for parking costs;.
3. I require a minimum of 48 hours notice of cancellation or payment in full (except for travel fee) under all circumstances including sudden illness. I will always offer an alternative session the same week but if that session does not work for you, then I will charge for the missed session;
4. On Sundays I only teach from my home.
5. For distances beyond 3 miles radius of my home, the minimum session is an hour and a half. This can be shared between siblings;
6. For distances beyond 5 miles radius of my home, I charge for one hour of my time, or an uber in both directions, whichever is cheaper, instead of £7.50. These sessions are also a minimum of an hour and a half, which can be shared between siblings;
7. All GCSE and A level students are welcome to send me essays of upto 1000 words to comment on between sessions. There is no charge.for this service.
Finally, if you would like references from current or previous students (or their parents) please just ask.
|Languages||English (British), French, German, Latin|
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|University of West London||1993||Professional||Common Professional (ExamLaw pt 1) and Legal Practice Course (Law pt 2) both postgrad|
|University of Westminster||2007||Professional||Cert Ed|
|University of Kent||1977||Bachelors||BA Hons American Studies Literature|
|London Guildhall University||1994||Professional||Legal practice course|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||1|