2020-2021, is the first cohort of primary and secondary students, I tutored solely online. It has been a challenging year; ensuring strategies were in place to enhance the learning across all year groups- year 2 to GCSE- whilst using a variety of teaching styles, being adaptable and tailoring each specific session to suit each pupil. 
My 11 plus cohort did particularly well this year, and parents thanked me for my effort and support throughout. However, I had to remind them that tutoring is a team effort- tutor, pupil and parents all working together; if a link to the chain is broken then the process fails. When we work as a team and communicate effectively and regularly, there is success and it is always a great reward for parent(s) and student when they reach their full potential. 
Students develop and mature at different rates and at different times- each has their achilles heel which when identified early, can be broken down into smaller manageable bits, and explained so the student can practice, practice, practice until they get that ‘light-bulb’ moment- for one student it may be fractions /percentages, for another comprehension and for another creative/descriptive writing. 
In the 13 years I have tutored, there has always been a topic that each student has struggled with; believing they can’t do it. Many students struggle with a problem solving question written in words they cannot identify with, or relate to. When it is explained, relating it to something they know or understand, then the concept begins to make sense. 
When I’m working with my English GCSE cohort, the challenge is getting them to understand terms and words which they often misunderstand; writing enough detail; writing using language that relates to the text question they are answering, and only spending allocated time writing an answer which reflects the marks they will receive for that particular question. 
Descriptive writing is also a challenge as it is often confused with creative writing and many students shy away from it. I have encouraged students to write descriptive text but it’s not until the second or third attempt that we see a breakthrough and writing that reflects a clear understanding of the question asked. 
Receiving a good grade in maths is about showing the detail in a methodical manner so that the process explained can be followed clearly. I often work with students who are quick to write the answer to a maths problem but fail to show the process and wonder why they only receive two marks for a five mark question. 
2021, was also a great year for my ‘Fine Art’ student, whom I mentored and coached throughout his degree; he received a first class honours. Our mentoring sessions encapsulated the best way to study; managing time; developing projects; using unique concepts and communicating with tutors so that he understood what was expected of him from the outset, particularly as his studies was a combination of online sessions during the pandemic and later, some face to face lectures. His final year was predominately self study with the opportunity and encouragement to work with different artists and mediums and to exhibit his work. 
Tutoring + Mentoring + Coaching = Educator 
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