Meet Cora – the Home-School Tutoring Area Advisor for Bristol!
The Bristol area was launched earlier this year and we’re delighted to have Cora running the Bristol Tutoring Area. Her team of tutors is expanding and tutoring lessons can be provided for all levels and the various subjects requested by parents and students in the region.
We know that tutors and clients are so interested to know more about their Area Advisors, including the experience they have had in education and the particular interests and skills they bring to the role, so we asked Cora to tell us more about herself.
Q: How long have you been teaching and what is your passion?
I’ve been teaching for 9 years and my area of specialty is The Early Years and Key Stage 1. I am passionate about teaching; particularly in supporting and encouraging pupils who find learning a struggle. I come from an artistic background and this is another passion of mine. I find that these skills allow me to think and work creatively in my teaching too; considering how I can enrich my student’s learning experiences through either my teaching approach or the resources that I use.
Q: Have you tutored as well and, if so, how did you find the experience?
Yes, I started tutoring over a year ago and it hadn’t occurred to me before to do it! I had been working full –time before having my own children and when they were small I went back to teaching part-time. I then discovered Home-School Tutoring and became a tutor with them, initially in the Bath Area.
I loved tutoring then and still do. By building strong and long-lasting positive relationships with parents and children, I am able to make a difference to their lives and see pupils progress. I am very aware of the different ways that we all absorb learning and the importance of teaching to inspire and build self-confidence. By being freed from a formal classroom I am able to identify and teach to each individual’s ‘hook’ and by finding what inspires my students, am able to break down barriers to learning and facilitate progress. I think tutoring is a really positive option for parents to consider for their children as it works so well alongside school attendance and can be a huge additional support.
Q: Can you tell me a real-life story about one of your tutees?
One child was transformational; he had finished Reception and had really struggled with his writing. He was a reluctant writer and he left Reception feeling quite down. He said to me, “my friends can write but I can’t.”
I spent all of last summer doing writing-related activities which inspired him. His passion was cars, so we focused on writing about cars and a narrative of a car race which he loved. We did lots of painting with brushes and water on the ground outside, writing in big letters and forming letters with our fingers (and cars!) in sand and flour. He couldn’t write his name when he came to me but now he’s writing page length pieces of writing independently!
It brought it home to me that tutoring is so much about building confidence. It can be overwhelming in a classroom for some children and as the teacher you don’t always have the time to give them that nurturing, patient approach that you can give with tutoring.
Q:What drew you to this role of becoming an Associate Business of Home-School Tutoring UK and to becoming the Area Advisor for Bristol?
Whilst I was tutoring for the Bath Area of Home-School Tutoring, I quickly found out myself – and from other tutors- that Home-School Tutoring stands out from other tutoring organisations for being both very tutor and client -focused. It really is different in that way. The Area Advisor takes into account the tutor’s special skills and preferences and the flexibility that they need in their working hours. Clear guidance and encouragement is given as to the standards expected. And in respect of clients, Home-School Tutoring is also very clear that they seek to address the needs of the child and that tutors are recommended responsibly to their clients, whether the client is a parent, an older student or a school or other organisation.
Q: What do you hope to offer?
I’ve always been passionate about teaching and teaching in a creative way. As the Bristol area advisor, I am able think creatively and shape what I would like to offer my clients by working closely with, and advising, my team of tutors, as well as fully seeking to understand what the clients need and matching tutor to pupil very carefully.
As well as being a qualified teacher, I am also a parent of two young children. Within our family, my husband and I aim to cultivate a culture of kindness, warmth and respect – affecting how we treat each other and our children – and this positive attitude helps all of us. This is something I am committed to practising in my work through my relationships with colleagues, parents and children.
I hope to continue to build relationships with all of my tutors and to have regular meetings with them as I believe that good communication between myself, the tutors and our clients is so important.
Q: What do you look for in a tutor?
They need to be passionate about education and their students, whatever age of pupil and whatever subject they tutor. They need to show a desire to understand how the pupils think and feel about their learning and to ask themselves, ‘What is going on with this pupil? How best can I help this pupil engage and learn?’ I think all tutors need to be creative in their approach and come from an angle of understanding the pupil first, so that they can break down the barriers they are experiencing and build their confidence in learning.
There is such fulfillment in knowing that pupils are starting to develop better learning skills and aiming to achieve more and this is very much why I love my role as the Home-School Tutoring Area Advisor for Bristol.
( based on a conversation with Cora Griffiths, Home-School Tutoring Area Advisor, Bristol)