I received a 1st class honours degree in Mathematics in 2009, but despite attempts by my tutors at the University of Birmingham to persuade me to continue into academia, I had my sights set on playing squash professionally. In 2010 I began competing full time on the PSA World Tour. I made great strides in my first three years competing, but in 2013 I started accruing injuries, which plagued me for the rest of my career until I decided to stop playing in 2016. I took a working holiday visa to Australia in 2016-17, where I spent half my time tutoring and coaching squash, and the other half cycling around Victoria and Tasmania. I continued my journey in south-east Asia, clocking up 11,000 km in 11 months, until I flew back home for Christmas in 2017. I still play and coach squash, but not to quite the same level as before. I have recently taken up climbing, something I discovered along my travels and would like to learn a language so that my friends abroad aren't always forced to converse with me in English! I would describe myself as curious, unorthodox, and free spirited.
I have been tutoring one-to-one for 7 years now. I always found time after school to tutor pupils around my training bases, going to their houses after I had finished my own sessions. I tutored Maths and Science initially, with pupils ranging in age from 8-18. Whether they were prospective medical, law or Ivy League undergraduates preparing for their final exams, or younger children whose parents were simply looking for a helping hand with homework, I got to work with a broad mix of students of varying personalities and capabilities. In Australia, I worked for two companies. In particular, I really enjoyed working with Tutorbright, who offered me a contract on the spot without an interview (bearing in mind I showed up to meet the team in shorts and flip flops!) because our philosophy towards education were so well aligned.
When I returned home from China in 2017, I thought I would try teaching English over Skype, but I found that after getting through the interview processes fine, the companies were so inflexible and regimented in their demands. I had no room be myself: I was simply a robot on the other end of a webcam reading a script. I turned the position down and went back to tutoring by myself locally again, which I am presently doing on a small scale alongside squash coaching, having expanded my repertoire of subjects to include GCSE Chemistry and A-level business and economics.
The memories I have of all my favourite lessons were ones in which there were no books and no writing. Whether there was a hands on element to the lesson, a captivating story told by our teacher, or group activities and discussion, the common denominator was that the teacher peaked our curiosities (mine at least), and had us completely engaged from start to finish. It didn't feel like normal learning, and yet those lessons I can still remember well, 10-15 years later. Clearly not everybody learns in the same way, and certainly without the right tools, it is difficult to make sense of information, let alone build upon it or have any personal insights. My approach to tutoring involves balancing those types of lessons in which pupils feel they have complete freedom to explore a topic according to what they find interesting, diving down what rabbit holes they will, against developing a disciplined practice of the core concepts of the subject at hand. Whether that is the scientific method, sentence structure and vocabulary, or arithmetic, these are the foundations upon which pupils can start to really enjoy learning, and ultimately part with their teachers and begin to direct their own learning.
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|University of Birmingham||2009||Bachelors||Mathematics BSc, 1st class honours|
|Darrick Wood School||2006||School||Mathematics, A-level, grade A|
|Darrick Wood School||2006||School||Psychology, A-level, grade B|
|Darrick Wood School||2006||School||Business Studies, A-level, grade A|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|