Tutor Case study: Vern

TalentEd expert teacher tutor VernWhat attracted you to TalentEd?

I was interested in TalentEd’s focus on developing the skills young people need to succeed, like resilience and communication skills. It also seemed like a great opportunity to work with those children who are capable of so much more, but just need that extra push, and to see them blossom.

Tell me about your previous teaching experience

I’ve been teaching for 33 years. I’ve been a senior leader, a head of department – everything besides a Head. I still loved teaching, but didn’t want to be in school anymore. It’s been great to give something back and improve my own skills at the same time. I’ve enjoyed working with the other tutors, because it allows you to share ideas and keeps you on your toes!

What does TalentEd offer that is different from other teaching experiences that you’ve had?

You can build trust with your small group to the point that they are happy to take risks and push themselves. You also have the time to let them flounder a bit! It is very hard as a teacher to stand back and let them fail without scaffolding, but in this setting you can really help your students to learn to overcome challenges by themselves.

How do you occupy your time when you aren’t tutoring with TalentEd?

I tutor an adult with severe literacy problems, tutor English, and volunteer with older people in the community.

In your own words, how would you describe the role of the TalentEd tutor?

Coach, mentor, enabler, teacher.

What do you enjoy most about being a TalentEd tutor?

Developing a relationship with children that is not focused on exams but on growth – helping them to learn to trust in their own ability to grow and to overcome challenges.

What impact do you think the TalentEd tutors have on bright students from low income backgrounds?

Focusing their minds. The students are very bright, but many are muddling through. In order to get the grades that they have the potential to achieve, they need to pin down strategies, try new ways of thinking and have the confidence to push themselves and risk failure.

What would you say to a retired teacher who is considering applying to TalentEd?

Definitely do it! It is something you will never regret. You’ll make a real difference to the lives of your students and your own!


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