Parental Influence 
I have always had a love of reading and writing. My grandfather and dad were avid readers and passed the gene down to me. When I was a child, I remember my granddad sitting on the veranda at home in Barbados relaxing with a book in his hand, and like-wise my dad. 
Writing has always been something I could do quite easily. It was my way of communicating and letting my creative thoughts leak out of head and onto paper. As a tutor, creative writing is something I look forward to doing with my students, particularly planning their ideas and starting that first introductory paragraph. I also enjoy listening to them read their stories aloud. I always say "It's your story, own it." 
Being Encouraged 
At secondary school, my English teacher was the only teacher I recall saying to me "You can do this." I utter the same words of encouragement to my tutees. 
Being Inspired 
At this time of the year, I am preparing my students for the 11 plus and we are doing the 'Big Write'- 6 weeks of writing- each week the theme changes. It is not something all of my students enjoy doing as some of them lean more towards maths and find creative writing a real challenge. That being said, I am witnessing my students applying grammar and punctuation and really developing their writing skills. Each story shares the same title, but each story is completely different. The plots range from being in a cage underwater, being trapped in a moon buggy to being consumed by cotton candy. It is wonderful to see students' imaginations run wild. We have aliens and sharks and bizarre looking creatures. At this point no one is telling me how their story ends, and I feel a great sense of excitement from each pupil and anticipation for myself about the endings which will be revealed to me after the Easter break. 
Building Confidence 
Watching my students, progress and build their confidence when they have struggled with some aspects of their learning is the reason I tutor. Many of my clients do not speak English as a first language and often say, "The word you have used is not in our language, we have no translation for it." In their frustration, they usually contact me seeking help. Each client I speak to wants their child to have greater opportunities than they had and for them this starts with a solid and grounded education. 
Applying The Knowledge 
To write a great story, applying punctuation and grammar are key. I say to my students, "You can write a good story but to make it a great story, you must apply punctuation and grammar correctly, A comma placed in the wrong place will change the meaning of your sentence creating ambiguity. 
One of my year 5 students is doing this successfully. At the start of our tuition session, he mentioned that he had a parent's evening meeting and his teacher was impressed with the development of his English. A year prior to that, the conversation was very different for this student; asking him to write a short paragraph felt like trying to extract teeth. 
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