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Meet Laura, one of our Primary Tutors

29 Oct 2018

Personal Experience

Most of my teaching experience was gleaned in a variety of private and state schools across London. I taught some of the most privileged and deprived children in the capital, some of whom spoke little or no English on arrival in my classroom. My pupils have typically been between the ages of 4 and 12 but I also have experience teaching older children. I currently teach teenage classes in a private school in Edinburgh alongside my tutoring work. I hold a PGCE in primary age teaching from Goldsmiths (London), where I was awarded ‘Outstanding’ at the end of my degree. While I am qualified to teach all subjects, my experience lies in teaching English and Mathematics. Since arriving in Scotland in 2016, I have been awarded Full Qualified Teacher Status. This entitles me to teach in Scottish schools where I have spent several months, both observing and teaching. I have familiarised myself with the requirements of the curriculum in Scotland and recently taught English and English Literature at National 5 level.

I have a first degree in French and German from Oxford University (The Queen’s College) and was an academic and music scholar at school. I myself had a knack for excelling in exams and I enjoy passing on exam skills to my tutees. During my time at Oxford, I also taught English on a year abroad in Lyons, France, and on a voluntary basis in Oxford, ultimately gaining a CELTA (English Language teaching) qualification. I have had the good fortune to witness many different teaching styles over the years, both as a student and as a teacher. These experiences and past interactions with inspiring teachers and headteachers inform my teaching. Furthermore, I’m constantly adding to a portfolio of effective teaching strategies and resources. More recently, I have become interested in the Singapore method of Maths teaching. I am also an advocate of TBL (Task based learning) which I think is key when teaching young children.

Tutoring Experience

In my final year in London (2015-16), I tutored every evening and on Saturday mornings. This enabled me to develop many more strategies for making learning both accessible and enjoyable. Tutoring is different from classroom teaching since there is room for greater creativity and the tutor is able to focus all of his or her efforts on one child at a time. My time as a tutor in London led to a real enjoyment in teaching. I mainly taught an able child who was struggling academically at one of the most academically rigorous schools in the city. I learned to be firm, yet sensitive to this child’s needs. I want my tutees to have a good time. Over the year, the child’s confidence and enjoyment of learning grew considerably and he ultimately won an award in recognition of this.

Since moving to Scotland, I have decided to focus on tutoring, rather than class teaching. A perfectionist by nature, I like to see the results of what I do. So far, I have taught children aged five and up and typically deliver one hourly session at a time. If children are young, I will break a session up into manageable chunks and allow learning breaks. More recently, I branched out into teaching English and English Literature at National 5 level. While in Scotland, I have taught both native speakers of English and non-native speakers. Since I am passionate about the power of reading to enhance a child’s educational attainment, I have recently started to create recommended book lists and to introduce children to unfamiliar authors.

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