Tutor Stories

Lara Isaac

What did you do before becoming a professional tutor?

Before discovering Keystone, I had recently graduated from Exeter University, where I read English, and was working as a marketing executive.

What attracted you to professional tutoring?

Having greatly enjoyed my time studying at school and university, I was interested in returning to education from the other side. I felt excited about being able to motivate and support young people on a daily basis, while maintaining a flexible timetable.

Has it met your expectations?

Professional tutoring has greatly exceeded my expectations. It truly is so gratifying when, week by week, you are able to watch children’s confidence flourish.

I love the balance of structure and flexibility that the role offers; in September I will be beginning a diploma course in Naturopathic Nutrition, which I will pursue alongside my teaching. I can’t think of many other jobs that would allow such autonomy and adaptability. 
 

Tom Perrin

What did you do before becoming a professional tutor?

Besides internships and ad-hoc jobs, professional tutoring was my first foray into the work-place – I came to the role after reading for a degree in History and Politics at Christ Church, Oxford.

What attracted you to professional tutoring?

Professional tutoring offered three attractions. First, it allowed me relative autonomy over my short- and long-term diary; second, it facilitated a high level of client contact, thus allowing me to apply and develop my inter-personal skills; third, it offered me the opportunity to develop a more organic and self-determined career path, but within the framework of a friendly and well-organised organization, committed to training and with a bedrock of resources and experience.

Has it met your expectations?

Professional tutoring has met all of my expectations; and surpassed many of them. It has allowed me to experience a productive - and fulfilling - first eighteen months in the workplace. I have enjoyed the high-levels of client-contact and have been reassured and encouraged by the professional development and administrative support provided from Keystone’s office team.

I would highly recommend it to those looking to pursue alternatives to conventional career paths. 

 

Andy Wimbush

What did you do before becoming a professional tutor?

I had recently finished a PhD in English Literature at the University of Cambridge. Before that, I had worked in communications for a think-tank.

What attracted you to professional tutoring?

I had started teaching undergraduates while at Cambridge and found that I not only enjoyed it, but seemed to be offering perspectives and skills that their other teachers weren’t. I had completed a teaching training programme with the Higher Education Academy and was eager to continue teaching after the end of my doctorate.

Tutoring seemed like a way for me to do this while also maintaining the autonomy and flexibility that I’d enjoyed about doctoral research. Keystone has a good balance between training its tutors on an ongoing basis and also trusting them to develop their own approaches and teaching methods independently. Professional tutoring adds further advantages, since I can rely on a steady income and pension payments even when I am not teaching at full capacity.

While I love teaching, I am grateful for the way tutoring allows me time to do other things. It’s possible to organise my week so that it leaves time for writing and research projects; tutoring also gives me the chance to work intensively if I want, and take time off later in the year once exams have finished.

Has it met your expectations?

Professional tutoring has met and exceeded expectations. I have enjoyed building relationships with clients and students on a long-term basis, in some cases seeing them through multiple sets of exams and stages of education. It’s a rewarding job both in terms of the variety of content I get to work on – from Shakespearean tragedy to arguments about free will and ethics to creative writing all in the space of a few hours – and in terms of the positive and demonstrable influence you can have on a student’s academic progress, self-esteem, and intellectual horizons. It’s also job in which you keep learning every day: about yourself, your teaching practice, and the subject.