Michael Clark

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My wife and I do this tutoring work together with help from some other terrific tutors. We love it because we see children’s lives changed in just a couple of months – I can’t begin to tell you what a joy that is! I’ve worked as a full-time school teacher for 10 years, and I’m still teaching now. I specialise in helping students who are struggling in reading, writing and maths. We are committed to rebuilding the confidence and skills that children lose when they experience failure in school. I’m a dad, and I’ve been a foster dad, so I know that this matters. I do whatever it takes to find solutions for children who others haven’t been able to help. Good tutoring gets great results because it is all about moulding the work to the child, rather than trying to mould the child to the work. We gladly give the first lesson for FREE so we can find your child’s areas of strength and weakness. It’s got to be free so your child knows that we actually care. Then, once we know what your child needs, we set about filling in the missing pieces for them. For me, it’s not just about giving skills, it’s really about rebuilding confidence and reinspiring children to become excited about their future. It’s all about equipping children for success in life and re-opening doors that have closed. Often they’ve given up on themselves and school, but I love to see them dare to dream that they could become a policeman/engineer/teacher. Rekindling the hope and optimism will always pay off. I’ve never met a student who I couldn’t help. – I’ve taught a Year 6 boy who was at a “kindergarten level” in reading and writing, and he can now read Roald Dahl books. It took just over a year. – I’ve worked with a lot of dyslexic students, and most are now achieving the same marks as their friends. Dyslexia is sometimes used as an excuse for people to give up on kids – it means you adjust the approach slightly, but with a bit of help, they will get there. – I’ve often enjoyed helping parents find ways to motivate their Facebook-addicted teenagers to study. I’ve helped them with their work, and got them back on track. One of our current students has handed in 6 assignments in the last 8 weeks – that’s more than he handed in during the last 2 years. Sometimes teens aren’t as ‘lazy’ as we assume – often they’ve just given up on themselves and their school- work. Good tutoring should be temporary. Our goal is to help your child so that they don’t need tutoring anymore. Sometimes it takes 6 months or a year or even two years… but tutoring should not need to be a permanent thing. It’s realistic because we don’t just teach skills – but also confidence, how to study, and how to enjoy learning. Call me – I look forward to chatting with you about what your child needs and what I can do to help. Good luck with whoever you choose to help your child, and I hope you find someone good on this website. By the way, here’s three things I recommend you look for in whoever you choose to help your child: First, keep clear of anyone who uses worksheets or ‘special computer programs’ to tutor – that’s not personal tutoring at all – it’s treating children like production line products. Good tutoring should be all about finding the gaps in your child’s skills and then filling the gaps. It should be about personal relationships and built on great relationships, not worksheets or computer programs. Second, I’d recommend you dodge the people who want to put your kids in a class of 4 or 8 or whatever – that’s not great tutoring. Good tutoring should be all about teaching the missing skills an individual has, not a big group. Tutoring individuals works. Also we’ve found that tutoring pairs of students is really good for children who feel underconfident or shy (they feel less pressure/spotlight on them when paired up with a friend). However, anyone who wants to put your child into a ‘group’ or ‘class’ is just replicating school – and if your child struggles then that’s probably not going to solve it. Also, tutoring should be really fun. It should be something to look forward to, especially for primary school children. Older kids may not find it as exciting as little kids do, but older children should be able to walk out afterwards feeling successful and that they learnt something. If tutoring’s going to work long-term it needs to be a positive, enjoyable thing. Finally, if someone wants you to sign a contract then you need to ask yourself why they’d need a contract. If they’re delivering a great service, they don’t need a contract to keep you coming back. My wife and I go to our favourite restaurant regularly because they’ve got consistently great food, not because they’ve pressured us into a contract. Cheers and good luck, Michael 🙂

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