How I help my students
To help you understand my tutoring approach and processes, here are some instances of what I do and how I do it!
T.B, Year 5 (Feb 2018 - Current )
I spend one hour per week with T.B working on English, mathematics and science. She is a quick learner, disciplined and inquisitive by nature which makes teaching her an absolute pleasure. I started working with T.B because she felt that her school work was not challenging enough and found it boring. When I first started working with T.B, I made sure that she was familiar with the fundamentals concepts in English and mathematics appropriate to her year level before moving on to concepts in the years above.
T.B enjoys the sciences the most, with her favourite being astronomy. We spend some of our lessons learning about science and the world from the internet and by watching videos on YouTube. There is a lot of information on YouTube and on the internet which is great! But most of the time this information is inaccessible to younger students as it is delivered at university level. T.B loves these sessions as I can explain concepts and videos to her in a way she can understand. The internet and YouTube are invaluable resources that allow students to visualise the concepts they learn about and understand how they manifest in the real world. We also work on advanced writing techniques and mathematics concepts to prepare her for the years ahead and to ensure that she learns at the pace appropriate to her!
J.L, Year 12 (Mar 2018 - Nov 2018)
J.L first approached me with the goal of passing Year 12 ATAR English. When I first started with her, I found that she had a poor understanding of the subject and writing ability which was reflected in her failed assessments. As a Year 12 student, time is of the essence. I made the decision to avoid focusing too much on spelling, grammar etc. as those skills are built over years of reading and writing. However in the available time span, I knew I could rapidly develop her understanding of syllabus concepts and teach her how to analyse texts and structure coherent paragraphs, essays and responses.
We started out at one session per week but quickly moved to a biweekly arrangement as assessments started to ramp up. When I was available, I would also provide extra sessions during the weekend to discuss the books, movies or documentaries she studied in detail. Our sessions were usually quite intensive, filled with explanations and practice examples. Every time I would get her to write a practice paragraph, I would write one with her so that we could compare and contrast which is something many of my students find especially helpful. Working together also helped to build her confidence as she was often overwhelmed with stress under exam conditions. Occasionally, we worked on chemistry and physics if a test was around the corner.
Progress was initially slow and her English results teetered over the passing grade, erring on the side of failure. However, her hard work and persistence finally paid off after a stellar performance in her mock exams which ultimately landed her on a passing average! She also managed to achieve a 75% in Section 2 of her mock exam which is an excellent surprise after spending months aiming for a passing grade! She manged to build a great deal of confidence in her own ability and to suppress her exam anxiety. I learnt a lot from working with J.L and students like her and cherish their successes like my own.
Update: J.L managed to achieve English competency and was awarded entry into her university course of choice!
A.D, Year 9 (August 2018 - October 2019)
When A.D's parents first approached me, I was not sure if I was able to help. A.D seemed to have given up on school and was severely failing most of his subjects. During my initial meeting with his parents, they explained to me that they had exhausted all possibilities trying to motivate him and that working with me was their "final option" after trying various tutors and tutoring centres. I decided to accept the challenge to work with A.D and we agreed on meeting for a total of 4 hours per week working on mathematics, English, science and HASS. The goal was to help A.D reach his potential and to accept his responsibility as a student.
I approached the sessions with an open mind to learn more about A.D. I found that he was extremely intelligent academically (he could multiply double digit decimal numbers mentally!) and was also very talented musically. My first short-term goal was to help him achieve passing grades in all of his core subjects. This required us to work on his organisation skills and work habits to help him finish his homework on time, revise for tests and complete assignments.
Despite the ups and downs, I always arrived at every session with a fresh, optimistic attitude. Many sessions were simply spent discussing his actions and their consequences, motivation and fair expectations. I also taught him many tools he could use to get organised such as creating a timetable and diary. Whenever he did something such as complete his homework or achieve a high mark on his assessment, we would talk about how he felt about it and how that would compare to how he felt when he ignored his responsibilities. I could see him light up when he realised that he felt a sense of pride and accomplishment when he achieved his goals and believe that this is one of the main factors motivating him to change for the better.
At the time of writing this, we have spent a total of 48 hours together. He has passed all his most recent assessments and has even received a phone call from the school for achieving the highest mark in the year group for his recent science test! The goal is slowly shifting from "getting him in order" to "achieving his potential as a student". I think he is finally starting to understand that accepting his responsibilities and balancing his leisure time can be extremely rewarding. If these last few months have taught me anything, then there is still a roller coaster ride to be expected in the upcoming year. However, I know that A.D's parents share my pride in the progress he has made so far.
Update 1: A.D was commended for his improvement by his school principal in Term 1, 2019 and received an award at his school assembly!
Damien L., Parent
"Our tutor has been a patient and effective teacher. He takes the time to make sure my child understands the material fully before moving on to the next subject. Service has also been great. Organising extra sessions or cancelling sessions is just a text message away. Looking forward to next term's report card!!"
John B., Parent
"Ever since our children started working with you they have been working harder and improving a lot. Tom managing to go from a C to an A for maths in just one term was amazing and we are so proud of him."
Levi C., Parent
"Over the years, our tutor has made a big impact on my children. He is patient and genuinely enjoys working with them, helping them stay organised and on top of their work which is why they enjoy the sessions. As a busy mum, I am so grateful my children have someone to guide them when they feel that they are losing motivation or falling behind."
"We have been using Douglas for the last few months for our child. I am noticing significant changes in my child’s studies after Douglas' tutoring. He is very thorough in what he is doing and I strongly recommend him for home tutoring."