I have recently retired from a full time role as a secondary school special needs coordinator. Working with small groups of students or on a one to one basis was the most rewarding part of the work. I now tutor individuals on a part time basis. I originally studied for an honours degree in fine art and then taught art in state secondary schools for several years. When my son was struggling in primary school he was identified as dyslexic, it was at this time I decided to retrain to teach special needs, in particular, specific learning difficulties. I have taught special needs for twenty years focussing on literacy.
Since becoming qualified to teach specific learning difficulties I have worked mostly in 11-16 state secondary schools but I have also tutored in a preparatory school. These schools have been both in rural and urban areas. In addition to working as a special needs coordinator I have taught English classes in the 11-14 age group and supported small groups of students and individuals through their GCSE English courses. I have been a designated teacher for looked after children, deputy safeguarding lead, a gifted and talented coordinator and a English as an additional language coordinator. I have particular experience working with children who are emotionally vulnerable and/or anxious including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic spectrum conditions.
My approach to tutoring is to first identify specific weaknesses and gaps in learning then prepare and deliver a bespoke course for the individual. I offer the first lesson free because I like to meet the child / student and their parents prior to starting tutoring. I would not teach in this lesson but assess needs for an individual programme through talking to the parent and child, reading any professional educational reports, looking at examples of recent written work, listening to the child read and carrying out simple tests to better understand any gaps in understanding. I encourage my students to be proactive in their learning, letting me know how and what they want to learn. I want them to be able to make the links between what they learn at a tutoring session and then apply it to their school work. I am happy to liaise with the students school teachers and provide advice to parents on special needs and disability . At school, in class, the teacher has to move on and deliver the curriculum within the time available. Sometimes, something that was not understood or learnt often years before can be left un-mastered through a lifetime (I only learnt phonics and spelling rules when I was in my thirties). I believe my visual skills and creativity allows me to find alternative ways of developing literacy to suit the individual. For those that have struggled to gain literacy a lack of self confidence can become as big, if not a greater barrier, than the specific difficulty itself therefore I will always include study skills within my tutoring and endeavour to raise my students self esteem. I can provide shorter sessions for primary school children in my own home.
|Availability||Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|Dyslexia Institute||1997||Professional||Post Graduate Diploma, Professional Studies in Education (Dyslexia)|
|University of Wales||1980||PGCE||Post Graduate Art Teachers Certificate|
|Wimbledon School of Art||1979||Bachelors||BA (Hons) Fine Art|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|