My Story: From Teacher To Tutor

Having four children of my own, I know only too well how it feels to see them struggle, in a subject area that I have little knowledge and experience in. I also know, after teaching: English, Drama and mentoring in schools; college and community projects for twenty years, it is nearly impossible to plan for a class of twenty-five plus, individuals to learn, and show progress in the classroom. 


Now, outside the walls of the classroom, I have been able to assist children and young people, to gain confidence and accelerate in learning. I believe that learning can be fun - if not inspiring - if not rewarding. When students develop into confident learner, they are open to greater life opportunities.


I didn’t achieve my best while I was in school; to be honest I was a little distracted during lessons. I didn’t always understand everything I was taught in school; I was often reluctant to put my hand up to ask for help. I remember my Biology teacher, Mr. Gray, saying “Elaine if you put a little more effort in you could quite easily achieve an A Grade”. I really didn’t know what more effort looked like; I achieved a B in Biology.


When I left school, I followed a  career, mostly in Administration. However, I just couldn’t get my dream of teaching English and Theatre out of my head. After much thought and planning, I returned to education in my twenties, took time to develop and understand my learning style and applied my maximum effort.


With support from a friend, helping me to focus, plan and grow in confidence, I applied for an A’ Level course. I went on to study English and Anthropology at Oxford Brooks University and completed my Teaching Certificate in service, at Matthew Boulton College of Further and Higher Education. The rest is history as they say.


During my teaching career in schools and community arts, the more I spoke to individuals, the more I realized a crucial lack of confidence and teaching focus, was impacting the individual learning process and making progress more challenging than it need be.


I had always used confidence building and study skills activities in teaching. I applied the same principles early on with my young family, with friends and neighbours.


I took the time to create a fun individual, plan suited to their needs and concerns.  As with my own children, the key to learning and growth encompassed self-management.


My outcomes focused on Literacy, English and performance skills. I am pleased to say that early intervention was key to my own children's success. Recognising that our children need all sorts of support is extremely important. My children, including myself, still need support and encouragement to stay focus and frequent adjustments to self-management, as we develop and learn more.


Our eldest daughter Naomi attended a school, like most, with a few challenges. She achieved relatively good grades and a B Grade in English. My son Anthony, actually tutored Naomi in Maths, when she didn't achieve the grade she needed first time round – just amazing!  Naomi is constantly homing in her study skills and achieving. At present, she continues her studies in Dance and Psychology at De Montfort University.


My second eldest – Hannah-Rose, was tutored for the 11+ (not from me!) - studied at a local Grammar School and achieved all A's and A*'s at GCSE. Hannah was the only student to achieve A* in A' Level English Language in seven years at the school. She had the experience of interviewing at Oxford University for a place and is now in her first year of Studies in English at Warwick University.


Anthony, as I mentioned is in Year 12 at a local Grammar School. He achieved A’s and A*’s in his GCSE’s. He now - not only studies Economics, Physics, Maths, and Chemistry works really hard - most of the time –  he tutors students for 11+ entry. It began when we met a friend’s mother when out shopping.  She explained she was challenged in her attempts to tutor her daughter, Emma, for the 11+.  Anthony who received tutoring for 11+ (not from me!), offered to support Emma. They both worked extremely hard, Emma secured a place at Sutton Girls Grammar school in 2016. Anthony is now at full capacity tutoring 2 Key Stage 2 pupils.


My youngest daughter Louise, studying at a local Academy, is approaching the New English GCSE.  he challenges are the same as all students - study, plan and revise. It's not easy, for teachers and it is certainly not a walk in the park for students. However, I do believe that it is possible with developed study skills, support and a lot of hard work.