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Tutorfair Volunteers at Pimlico Academy
June 30, 2015
For the Past 6 months Tutorfair volunteers have been working at Pimlico Academy as Teaching Assistants, helping in the modern languages department.
Read on to find out what it's like to volunteer as a TA for Tutorfair
"During one of the lessons, I had to teach one student outside the classroom. This student was one who sometimes had bad behaviour, in fact when the teacher told him to go out with me to work I thought: 'This is going to be a bit complicated'. However, thankfully I was wrong with my first impression because, little by little, he started to get more confident. When we finished I could see that he was so happy with his work. Also, when he left the classroom at the end of the lesson he came to me with a smile and said, 'Thank you, Miss'.
This is why I really love teaching and education: the smile, satisfaction and self-esteem improvement that I can see in my students."
"School bell; A charming series of chords which warm the cockles of the heart and the kids love it too. A few of the boys love to drum rhythms on their desks, which is pretty disruptive to the rest of the class. When I ask them not to, I ask if they like playing the drums or if they are in a band, then try to teach them the French words for these sorts of things. Their responses were amazing: one boy had won the Pimlico academy version of the X factor by singing solo, another wants to be a musician when he's older saying, “I only want to play for pleasure though thank you very much, none of this exam pressure”. Another is desperate to have drum lessons but has to wait until next term for a free slot in the drum teacher's timetable. Hopefully some day, in the not so distant future, Tutorfair volunteers could help him on that front too!"
"At the beginning, the students were just curious and tried to understand if they could trust me as a "teacher", so it felt like I was the one under observation :-)
More, as I am Italian, they wanted to know why I was tutoring Spanish and not my native language.
I explained to them that I come from Sardinia and (much to the amusement of the students) had to draw my island as it was not actually on their map! I followed by telling them that in some areas of Sardinia both Catalan and Castilian are still spoken after 300 years since we were a Spanish Colony. This seemed to have finally boken the ice and captured their attention, as after that they asked me many more questions.
"The benefit of having an extra pair of hands in a classroom was certainly visible. I’ve found that the students’ focus can be constantly redirected to the task at hand to help the main staff member. Last year, I assisted a particularly row
dy group, which at first was rather intimidating. They were the lower set expecting a C/D at GCSE. It soon became clear that some students’ apparent nonchalant attitude was covering a deep lack of confidence in their abilities. It was a pleasure to be able to help those students and we certainly developed a good level of trust. I wasn’t a member of staff so didn’t have to be as formal with them and they could tell me how they were feeling with regards to the impending GCSE’s. There were 2 students who showed remarkable progress and achieved their C grade.
The volunteering programme has also raised my confidence in dealing with a classroom and as a tutor. I know I’m on the right track and received invaluable help and encouragement from the teacher."