Online Volunteer Tutoring - Chris' Story

September 23, 2020 by Tas F
Image Chris C has been supporting learners with their Maths, Politics and Economics.  He is a committed volunteer and shares his passion for his subjects with his tutees.  This week, we reached out to find out a bit more about him and see how he's finding tutoring in our new, online world.

A little bit about you - your story up to now and where you are after the lockdown!

My name is Chris Cecil and I am a student at Durham University reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics.  I grew up in South West London where I was a keen footballer and athlete.  I loved my school days, in particular playing all the sports I could.  After doing A Levels in Economics, History, Maths and Politics, I took a year out before going to university.  I worked for the British Heart Foundation for four months and then travelled around Australia and New Zealand.  Since then I have completed my first two years at Durham University and this October, I am returning for my third and final year.

How have you found tutoring online?  Does it fit OK with the way you like to tutor?  Do you enjoy it or are you finding it taxing?

I loved tutoring online and I believe with the resources the Tutorfair Foundation supply it is as effective as tutoring in person.  I found the website Bramble particularly helpful as it allows you to upload any document to go through with the students and it is interactive at the same time.  This means it is easy as the tutor to initially teach the subject and then the student can start to answer the questions on the website.

Bramble has given me all the tools for online tutoring that I would have for in person tutoring.  Another great benefit of tutoring online is it makes the sessions very flexible, if a student needs to change the time of the lesson last minute this can be easily done.  Furthermore, this fits perfectly with me combining tutoring with my university studies as I can give a lesson regardless of being at university or at home.

How have you found the technology?  What issues have you had and have you managed to find solutions?

I have found the technology very easy to use, in particular Bramble.  My Tutorfair supervisor, Tas, gave me a very helpful tutorial on how to use it and was always present at the start of every lesson to ensure all the technology was working.  There are always going to be a few issues with technology, such as connection issues.  However, when my student's connection would drop, Tas would be straight on the case and get back to me quickly what the issue was and when it would be resolved.  Otherwise there were no issues with the students being unable to see the documents or any audio problems.

Would you recommend the programme to other tutors?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

I would definitely recommend the programme to other tutors, because it is such a rewarding scheme to be part of.  I am also a private tutor and I much prefer my voluntary tutoring for the Tutorfair Foundation because you feel as if you are really helping these students' loves and helping them to release their potential.

The students I tutored often had little confidence in their abilities, however as the weeks progressed, they started to notice they could answer a lot of these questions and problem solve.  The company itself is a very organised and you are in regular communication with your supervisor, when your lessons are and what other opportunities they offer.  I believe the Tutorfair Foundation is a brilliant scheme and the UK needs more programmes like it.

Are there any other comments you'd like to add?

I would encourage anyone to try out being a tutor for this programme, as it gives you a unique opportunity to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Join us in making an impact!

Our fantastic volunteers are at the core of what we do.  We are grateful for their time, effort and commitment to our programmes.  If you would like to volunteer with us, register your interest here

If you are a school or an organisation and would like help and support for the young people you work with, fill in an enquiry form here.  

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