I am hugely passionate about all things English and Performing Arts, demonstrated in my constant seeking out of new knowledge; learning never stops.
After my father was diagnosed with dementia in 2015, I decided to leave teaching in mainstream education and begin tutoring.
It occurred to me that, as the system lets people like Dad down, it equally does disservice to a great number of people in education, and I wanted, and still want to change that.
My MA gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore beyond approaches to texts and look at provision for SEND pupils, focusing particularly on ASD, inspired by my nephew. In fact I wrote an article for "Teaching Shakespeare" magazine on that very subject .
Outside of teaching, I sing, which I also tutor, attend the theatre, and act when I have opportunity. I read voraciously, and have been known to write the odd poem, which I'm fortunate enough to have published, although not all.
I have 4 godsons who I would move mountains for, as I would for my family, including my dogs. I also do this for my students.
I trained at Homerton College, Cambridge University 1999-2000 and my first job was with my second placement school, where after a year and a half I was promoted to Acting Head of KS3 Drama owing to the maternity leave of a colleague.
Since then I have been Head of Department and Second in Faculty, teaching KS3-5, but I confess to preferring the 'chalkface' over office based admin.
I began teaching acting classes in 2015 for a young people's film school from KS2 upwards, and this year started my own business, while still teaching acting.
When tutoring, I design curricula specific to each student, whether exam based or to boost skills, or more importantly, confidence.
Currently, my students range from 8 years old to adult, in Literacy, English Language and Literature, Acting, and Singing.
Everything I do is bespoke to the student.
I always start with a 'getting to know you' session, which is as much about the person as it is about academic need. I am prepared for a student to decide we're not a good fit, because it's important to build a rapport, especially as often the need for a tutor is about confidence.
During the session, I take notes, just so I can plan future sessions appropriately. I do, however, make it clear, in the case of school-aged students, that I need to and will feedback to parents.
In terms of exams, I go through criteria and technique, where appropriate. It isn't always; a lot of the time it's about confidence, so I have led sessions which are mainly conversations about set texts, for example.
It is always acceptable for a student to dislike a text, as long as they can reason beyond "boring". Today, a student and I started to read the same novel, stopped at the same place as we both disliked it. He knew he couldn't tell me it was boring, and we ended up discussing why it was pitched to the wrong age group.
I also believe in engendering empathy, especially as it encourages a depth of understanding beyond language analysis, and I adapt acting techniques to this end, as not everyone likes to act.
In light of school closures, and potential financial strain, I am offering a pay what you can approach, while Covid-19 is still about.
|Availability||Weekends, Weekdays (all times)|
|References Available||On File|
|Chester University||1998||Bachelors||English, Drama and Theatre Studies|
|Homerton College, Cambridge||2000||PGCE||English and Drama|
|Shakespeare Institute||2016||Masters||Shakespeare and Education|
|Trinity||1998||Other||Grade 8 Singing|
|Unpublished feedback (Usually negative)||0|