Getting back into academia after ’20 years’ in the real world can be quite an adjustment, but that’s where Jacki excels. She’s supported mature students through the process, and achieves outstanding results in the process! When Jacki first met her client, he was overwhelmed by the pressures of a Master’s degree, whilst also balancing demanding job that required him to travel frequently. Over the course of two months she helped him bring his grades up from a C to consistent As and Bs by establishing the most important pillars of Master’s level work and boosting his confidence. They still continue to work together between his trips overseas, and he becomes a stronger and more confident student with each lesson that passes. Nice one Jacki!
Ken’s story demonstrates the reciprocal benefit that can occur whilst working with a student. The time Ken spent with this student, not only greatly helped her academically, but also enriched his life too. It began in a Costa Coffee with him helping her with her Film PhD thesis by unravelling and clarifying philosophical concepts that she was unclear about. This took them down an exciting road that left Ken feeling dazed, but dazzled, by the power of film and cinema. Whilst they only spent several sessions working together, it not only clarified any uncertainties she had with her PhD but helped him discover a new passion for Film! A truly touching tuition story.
Tutoring can be the only way for some students so make the leap into new career paths. Massimo has a worked with many students from all walks of life, but one student that stands out to him was a trained actress who was looking for a career change in advertising. This meant that she had no background and no experience in how to writing academic essays. The first essay she attempted resulted in a fail as well as, understandably, a massive blow to her confidence. But she didn’t give up, and after being introduced to Massimo, with her marks soared. First to a pass, then a merit, and then even a distinction! We love these stories, especially when the student calls us at the end to tell us that they “couldn’t have done it without him!”.
Lola enjoys taking on the super role as a part-coach, part-friend, part-teacher and part-cheerleader for her students and inspires with a transformation story. Her biggest success was taking a student from retaking 3 modules to receiving solid 80%s in their end of year exams. This involved endless patience, and over 50 hours of intensive support whilst taking full advantage of the Profs’ then-pilot consultancy scheme – involving a tutor-lead, team of expert tutors and 24-7 access to an in-house Profs team member. She transformed her student within a year from a disengaged student to a confident, proactive business man that takes studying seriously. Watch this space!
Tavis helped his students ace results, surpassing expectations on all fronts: supporting students with learning disabilities to over 80% in subjects far outside his comfort zone and getting PhD students successfully through their Vivas… before Tavis had completed his own PhD?!?! Tavis has his own independent Tuition Business through which he is promoting the Profs as an affiliate. His referral strategy has not only benefited The Profs by creating long-term clients but he has made a great side income source because of it through, from which he could further grow his own Business. Great work team!
Atul single-handedly took on the education system – mediating between a student with special needs, his concerned and protective family, an inefficient local government and a school that was hostile to private tutors and outside interference. The result – creating one-man workshop and academic course to build a handmade radio with a student who critically needed guidance and someone to believe in his abilities.
Life-changing results might as well be Vicky’s middle names. Vicky wrote of not one, but TWO students she managed to steer from 2:2 and fail territory to outstanding high 1st classes and merits, saving degrees, careers, aspirations and perhaps slightly improving the very NHS itself in the process! What’s most heartwarming to read is Vicky’s levels of shared enjoying in the final grades, which we know comes from months of grind and real passion for your students. Good one Vicky!
Dan’s baptism of fire at with The Profs involving taking a student who enjoyed sleeping until midday from 0 attendence to 74% in his best module. They covered three whole modules in three weeks using extensive, personalised notes and utilising the student’s amazing photographic memory. Dan had to learn most of the syllabus’ unique topics and then translate them into digestible materials! We can’t wait to see what he does with his future placements!
VOTE NOW For Tutors’ Choice Award 2017!
Read the stories here and cast your vote.
I would like to share the experience with my mature student. I help him with his academic writing and submissions for an online Masters in Project Management. He has returned to education after 20 years of project management experience.
Initially, he felt confused about decoding the briefs for his weekly assignments, understanding how to write critically, identifying appropriate references and content in academic texts and papers, and how to structure content for his submissions: these are the pillars of Masters level work. His early grades were C’s, and each week that I have worked with him he has two submissions that he now consistently achieves Bs or As for! He has only once since received a C, but that was an institute-specific technicality around Turnitin criteria. He is doing very well in his academic work despite frequent trips overseas for his job, and is a stronger and stronger student all the time.
This is a quiet, steady success story, but is a huge achievement for him which he is managing to maintain.
The Prof in the Green Hat.
I get more than my fair share of Call-Centre calls on a weekly basis, but this one was different! The thin girlish voice explained falteringly that she was a Film-Studies Ph.D student who needed some help and that she had got my number from the Profs University Tutors.
It was a Brooklyn accent and she spoke so fast that the words tumbled into one another like a movie car-chase, but what I understood was that she had used the word ‘dialectic’ in her thesis without fully understanding what it meant, and could I help her. I started to explain, but she told me that she needed a complete understanding!
It was a brief call, and I think we had both formed some idea of each other from the rush of words, mainly hers, and I explained that we could have a tutorial on Skype, but if she needed to see me in the flesh she would have to come to Reading and we would discuss the Dialectic in detail in a Café. The matter was quickly concluded, and said she would come to Reading the following day and I added that I would meet her outside Smith’s at the main entrance of the rail station at 11 AM.
“How will I recognize you?” She quickly asked. “Easily!” I said, “ I shall be wearing a green hat.
We talked hurriedly for more than two hours over our coffee: I about the long career of the ‘Dialectic’, and she about her ‘Violence in Films’ thesis, most of which was a tangled exposition of varied forms of violence with vivid descriptions of images and their visual impact on audiences. It all seemed jumbled-up to me and left me dazed, but the dazzling effect of the combination of her animated words and vivid facial expressions was itself like a movie; perhaps actually the story within a story, for me something of an epiphany about the power of Films. How any of this had happened was equally puzzling, an Ah-Ha moment perhaps, that somehow quite suddenly for me linking Cinema to the rest of reality!
We had two further meetings in the (Costa) Café which allowed me to finally nail the Dialectic for her, and also for her to draw me deeper into a new world of seriously thinking about Cinema. I was now semi-retired from university teaching, but still advising post-grad students how to write their dissertations and theses, and buying books, but now instead of Philosophy and Sociology, I was ordering books on Film, which I soon realized was only half the story I wanted to write about. The new world I wished to explore was a phenomenological one of cinematic experiences, and how sitting in the dark watching a film is about much more than watching a film; I could already see that!
Over the following weeks and months the word Dialectic leaped out at me from my desktop every time I opened my laptop, challenging me to re-run our café-conversations through a random disconnected list of philosophical ideas she had asked about such as; ontology, epistemology, etc.etc. These strange unusual sounding words that had for her a certain (profound) ring to them, which I suspected she might have used to scatter among her discussion of filmic violence for effect. She would grab a word and run with it until it seemed she was out of reach of any idea of reality, somehow we were located on opposite sides of a planet, instead of just sitting opposite one another across a small table, within touching distance. I had been struggling to change the way she had been thinking about words and her ideas, but actually, as it happened it was the other way round. Was this then my Xanadu, and she my Abyssinian maid offering me the milk of Paradise, a muse perhaps, or just a stranger who had switched on the light?
My student had trained to be an actress and had never had proper instruction in essay writing or the need for it, until she began studying for a course in advertising. Although a bright student, she failed the first essay and her confidence was at an all-time low. I coached her on essay writing technique and eager to learn she applied the framework to her essay and re-submitted it. She achieved a merit, and went on to gain a pass, merit and distinction in her follow-up essays. She wrote: “Thanks so much again for all of your help. I Couldn’t have done it without you!”
Tutoring for me is not just about ‘teaching’; it is part-coach, part-friend, part-teacher, and part-cheerleader. I met her student in July 2016, just after he found out he had to retake 3 modules in order to progress to second year.
The client manager said, “He’s a bit of a lad,” and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Looking back now – I am glad I said yes to the job.
Over 50 hours later, through the summer, day in, day out, they approached studying with a clear plan of action and small daily goals. I became the tutor who had to teach him to take breaks, study strategically, make notes, revise, and test his ability to recall. Most of the time was spent encouraging him and telling him to believe in himself because he is smart!
By September, her student had aced his three modules, with the highest score being 81%.
He was on top of the world, and we continued working together in his second year. He became one of the Profs’ early consultancy clients, signing up more tutors and ensuring he was doing well all-round.
Two weeks ago, I completed my final session for this school year with him. The student I first met last year is a completely different person after 12 months. He is more confident, proactive, able to balance work and life, and he actually enjoys studying now.
His lowest score this year was 65% and he is on track for a high 2:1 or a 1st class. He is even talking about studying for a master’s!
The experience challenged me, as I had never had a long-term client or a client who needed regular support. Working with this student was the sign I needed to confirm that sharing knowledge and enhancing learning is my vocation. It gives me great pleasure to inspire people and help them accomplish their academic goals.
I am looking forward to working with him from September 2017 as he begins his final year.
This success story is about this student, rather than myself. It is a story about a student’s transformation, and the power of connecting and meeting each student at the point of their need. It is also about realising that my job as a tutor is to inspire my students so that they no longer rely heavily on me by the end of the school year – because they’ve been equipped with effective study (and life) skills for independent thinking.
I believe that I’m a good candidate for “The Tutor’s Choice” because of the many positive contributions I have made to The Profs, tutoring professional standards and most importantly—its clients. Since joining The Profs in Summer 2016, I have achieved three successes I feel demonstrate tuition excellence and loyalty to The Profs brand. These include supporting two PhD students to completion; supporting three Master’s students to distinction dissertations; and referring three clients to The Profs this year who went on to be long-term clients.
First, I supported two clients with completing their PhD. The first was a challenging client who was completing a PhD in Social Science & Education and needed help preparing for a Viva and improving the research methods in her thesis. Furthermore, this client needed support with a learning disability that made statistics challenging. Initially the job was for four hours, but it grew to nearly 20. This role demanded a great deal of statistics teaching and involved premeditating Viva questions. The second client was revising her statistics in her PhD in Counselling, however, I also supported this client with qualitative techniques too. Both students have now completed their PhDs and this is a tuition achievement because I do not have a PhD myself!
Second, I have shown consistent results in supporting Master’s degree students. The first three long-term clients I was referred, all struggled with statistics and report writing but all three went on to get distinctions in their dissertations after my workshop-style tutorials. Notably, the economics student, typically outside of my normal psychological expertise, received the highest dissertation grade of 80%. This case is also noteworthy as it was my first online tuition experience and so I had to quickly learn how to manage the technical side of tuition in order to support this student to success.
Third, for my business as “The Tutor King”, this year has been a great financial achievement. Last year for the first time, I earned a full-time salary as a professional tutor on my own, however, since joining The Profs with the help of their referrals and £50/50% client referral scheme, my business expanded even beyond my own expectations for 2016/17! This level of success could not have been achieved without working diligently with The Profs and participating in The Profs incentive program. Because of the success this year, I have decided to invest in our relationship and become an affiliate by rebuilding “The Tutor King” website this summer to take more referrals for The Profs and expanding both of our enterprises. Further this, I am pleased to be part of The Profs ‘international tutor’ league as I am now bringing overseas “Tutor King” clients into The Profs business portfolio.
In summary, I believe I am everything The Profs is looking as a best-choice of tutor. I have brought out the best in my students, I have demonstrated professional commitment over-and-above what would otherwise be expected of my learning level and I am making significant contributions to the future success of The Profs.
‘One of the most satisfying job I have done though in 11 years of tuition.’
I was stuck in a terrible dilemma taking this on; this child needed me for mentorship and guidance at a critical time in his life. The system had failed him, or rather it could not cope with both the student and protective, concerned family. A perfect job match nonetheless as the student liked Engineering and music, two things close to my heart as well. I already had experience tutoring teenagers with Special Needs, which requires a ton of patience and empathy. One big problem though – I tutor all online and this job came to me in March with the Easter holidays looming. I was already tutoring 7 days a week, how would I even fit this in? Tutoring at Easter was going to be intense as it is.
But the prospect of going into an Engineering workshop was just too tempting! The job got more complex week per week. I was not just a tutor, I was marker, moderator and even mediator between school and family.
I took charge of the entire situation copying everyone in on every email, reassuring the family that I was completely onboard whilst creating a unique workshop that the school had never seen before – just for the student. I had to move all my usual regular student slots to make the workshop times. The student was intelligent but a perfectionist and divergent. Many social norms didn’t exist in his world, and doing anything with him took far longer.
The courseworks were huge, we were months behind and it was a miracle we got the radio made. The other project was well behind and I had to ditch parts of it. I also had to learn how to mark all the coursework using the Edexcel material, something teachers go to training courses for. I then also had to help collate, sort, index and package the coursework as a head of department would do whilst ensuring I kept to all the rules and guidelines. The day before the deadline I finished with my regular GCSE students at 10pm, then finished off the seemingly never ending admin until past 1:30am to be ready for the school to submit to Tri-borough at 9:30am. I was one relieved bunny when everything went successfully in the end!
I am applying for the Tutor’s Choice award because I know that I have really had a huge impact on some of my students this year, 2 in particular come to mind.
The first one was a final-year psychology student, who had attained a solid 2:2 in both her 1st and 2nd years of study. However, she realised that she would need to have a much better mark for her overall degree if she wanted to have any chance at all of applying for any funded psychology doctorates in the future, as well as NHS jobs. This student struggled with writing so much so that when I saw her work from years 1 and 2 I was very concerned that we would not be able to get her into the 2:1 bracket at all for most of her essays. However, I worked with her from October 2016 to May 2017 and helped her with every step along the way. This took hours of perseverance in terms of the actual work I had to do and the motivation I had to give her all the way through the year. She was determined, though, that she would improve her marks and have a chance at the career she wants. So we did it, together, through months of hard work and some late nights for us both! This was a fully online placement, so amazingly I have never met the student; we have only spoken on the phone and on email. However, she got her degree marks last week and got a first class on her dissertation and mid to high 2:1s on all of her other assignments. None of her final year pieces of work were anywhere near the 2:2s she had been getting in the previous years. I am still, a week on, completely ecstatic about this and once again, this shows that the right tutor can really make a huge difference to a student’s life and future career. We also got on very well, which helped, as we did have some difficult moments with tight deadlines. This placement has been one of the most rewarding ones for me.
The second case is a mature student who is on a master’s degree, which will take her a few years because she works full time. This student came to me late last year with a statistics assignment, having never done statistics or research methods before. She had been told by the admissions tutor for the course that she had only been accepted on the course because she sort of insisted and told them that she would excel. This was because she did not have the right background, as this course is aimed at medical doctors and she isn’t one. The student was told she had to get mid merits (65%) on her assignments to make it to the second term. So, I was slightly concerned, given her lack of knowledge of the subjects. However, we worked together on both of her statistics and research methods and after my initial help she sailed through with distinctions (both 75%) and is able to stay on the course. This student now feels much more confident in completing this master’s degree and then being able to get a job in the NHS where she can really make a difference.
My experience with this client is worth recounting as he was no ordinary individual, nor a typical student. Tutoring him was at times akin to being a horse whisperer.
I worked with the client in many advanced financial topics and building on that, I was able to pitch hard and get to tutor him in further, practical subjects in the following term. In all three courses we covered a term’s work in approximately one week. So that’s three entire subjects in three weeks. This task was all the more challenging because
1) I’d not tutored anything like this curriculum before.
2) My student had not attended any lectures and preferred to wake and start his day at approximately lunch time.
3) He was at times unreachable by phone for protracted periods.
Helped by his near photographic memory, a number of five and six hour stints (with dinner sometimes included), and my construction of detailed revision notes, and the close working relationship we had, we were able to get my client decent grades in all three subjects, including a huge first in the subject we covered this term!
I am really looking forward to working with him next year.
VOTE NOW For Tutors’ Choice Award 2017!
Read the stories here and cast your vote.