This is how 3 referees rated Mike:
I'm a newly retired teacher, now based in Kew, London. Although I have a doctorate, written books and all that jazz, I much enjoy the cut and thrust of history discussions with A Level students. I did my first degree at Trinity College, Dublin (Class 1) and my higher degree at Royal Holloway College, London University. Did a number of jobs in publishing and industry, some writing and reviewing, and at the relatively late age of 36 became a teacher. Since then, never looked back. Taught in just two independent schools: a crack London day school, St Paul's Girls' School; and a large boarding school, Shrewsbury School where I was Head of History. Am married with two grown up children.
Over my teaching years have done lots of individual tutoring as well as teaching. Most of these sessions have been with bringing A Level history students up to speed. I have knowledge and experience of most late modern and early modern British and European history - that's from about 1500 to 1900. (No medieval history though.) Am most familiar with the OCR Board and the Cambridge Pre-U syllabus. (The three main exam boards, however, are fairly similar.) Have been an examiner for the A2 history papers for OCR - so I know about the ins and outs of exam requirements. Spent many years coaching history candidates for Oxbridge entrance and lately the entrance procedure for London colleges. I've also advised many candidates how to make the best possible presentation of their A2 individual study or extended essay.
OK, the key thing is to pass the exam, obtain the necessary grade, get into the desired university. To get the grades in history exams, largely means knowing how to write an effective essay: to decode the question, establish the topic and work to the command instruction. So a lot of time is spent reading through essays and helping the candidate to construct a focused answer. If the individual study is causing trouble, then I can help with the general approach (observing each Board's regulations) and assist with footnotes and the correct scholarly apparatus. But tutoring should be also a chance to extend horizons and I try to bring in many associated themes, especially from literature and the fine arts. Students will gain from historical parallels with other periods and countries, and the analogies we can make with current affairs. The whole experience should be fun as well as instructive.
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Tags: Chiswick History tutor, Chiswick A-Level History tutor, Chiswick University History tutor, Chiswick Casual Learner History tutor