I've been teaching English as a foreign language for several years. I completed a Spanish degree a few years ago and I decided I'd like to start doing some Spanish tutoring. I started running an after-school club at a primary school, but I also wanted to tutor older pupils and particularly focus on GCSE Spanish.
A few months ago my cousin told me about Tutorfair. I wanted to do private tutoring but I was also attracted by the idea of doing volunteering in a school. Apart from wanting to help the students, I thought it would be useful for me as a private tutor to see how Spanish GCSE is taught in schools.
Training Day for Teaching GCSE Spanish
I signed up for the volunteer training day in February. I found it useful to learn about how the Tutorfair Foundation works, plus meet other tutors and get up-to-date information about the exams. The training day also prepared me for some of the issues that could come up in the classroom and what I could expect during my volunteering.
On the first day, I'd arranged a specific time to meet the teacher at the school. I was given brief information about the course and the students shortly before the lesson started. The lesson time I signed up to was the second half of a double lesson but I decided to volunteer for both lessons.
First Day of Teaching GCSE Spanish
On that first day I went around seeing what the students were working on and trying to help those who were unsure of what they were doing. When students have a question, rather than giving them the answer I enjoy asking them questions to help them find the answer themselves. I've done 5 sessions at the school so far. I'm getting to know the students better and they're getting to know me. I've found everyone at the school friendly and helpful and enjoy spending time there.
What I've been learning has also helped me in my work as a private tutor. The challenges I face are the fact that Spanish isn't my first language. Also my limited experience of teaching teenagers. As another language teacher told me, you can’t expect to know all the answers to questions. Especially when you’re teaching a language that’s not your own. The more sessions I do, the more I learn. If something comes up which I'm not completely sure about, I answer it as well as I can and then I check, so I can be sure the next time. Observing and interacting with the students is also part of the learning process for me.
Overall the volunteering has definitely helped me as I continue to develop my tutoring practice. For anyone who's considering it, it's worth volunteering some of your time with Tutorfair. The students deserve to have as much support as possible with their learning and it can be a very rewarding experience for the tutor.
Are you thinking about getting involved? You can sign up for our next training session.
You can book private Spanish lessons with Suzanne on Tutorfair.com