2020 a year of change

February 2020 and there were stories on the news about a virus which had started in China and was spreading to other parts of the world. Cruise ships were moored, and the passengers were unable to disembark for weeks on end.

People had started bulk buying and it was becoming a far more popular topic of conversation. Half the parents I spoke to felt that things like this don’t happen in the UK.

Whereas the other half had already started to bulk buy and put precautions into place.

Naively I felt that if schools closed, we will still be able to travel to people’s homes as we had always done. Nothing would change really it would just be like an extended school holiday…

One mum had put a plan in place and set up a “classroom” in their kitchen. She had rooted out all the unused educational presents the boys had been given over the years. A timetable was written on the windows and I would go over a couple of times a week to support their learning.

How naïve was I?

March 23rd, 2020 and the country went into complete lockdown. No-one could leave their homes bar a few very specific reasons. Tutoring in someone else’s home was definitely not one of them.

Overnight, I went from tutoring 6-8 hours a day, to nothing.

2020 a year of change

Then a parent asked if we could perhaps do online lessons.

I had always been adamant that online lessons don’t work. In my mind to engage with a child you needed to be sat with them. You needed to be in the same physical environment to play the games, access the resources.

In that moment there were two choices, I either stayed stubborn and stuck by principles.

Accepted the company would probably fold.


Give it a go.

2020; a year of change

We gave it a go. Initially we tried Facebook calls. It led to bad reception and we couldn’t share the screen.

Then we tried Skype, this was better as we received a better signal.

I got in touch with each of the tutors and one asked if they could speak to me on zoom rather than Skype.

This request has changed everything.


That request led me to trying zoom calls for the lessons. Success.

The reception was good.

We could share the screen rather than trying to hold bits of paper up for them to see.

What’s more, we could both annotate the screen.

The games had to be adapted, but new ones were also created.

The business had a future. We were back to providing support at the same level as we were before lockdown.

No, that’s a lie!

2020 a year of change

The business had a better future than ever.

We were now able to offer a two-tier service. Lessons online or as we come out of lockdown a premier service as we offered before in the child’s home.

At the back end of the year, we also decided to launch the Brand Associate Opportunity.

This was like a mini franchise. It didn’t have fixed territories and it was a far smaller investment. Asking what people wanted now, again led us down a new path to accommodate the needs of the people we would be working with.

We also set about launching the Clara James Approach.

A membership group which provided creative resources for parents of children in KS1 and KS2 that they could use at home to support their own child.

2020 was a complete change for the Clara James Brand.

Most importantly, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has stood by us this year. Both parents and tutors, I will be eternally grateful. Without you, we wouldn’t have survived.

What does 2021 have instore?

I don’t know, but I do know that we have the ability to adapt, change and conquer. I know we will always come out stronger. We will always do our best to be the best and to keep you at the centre of everything we do.

If you are interested in the Clara James Approach, click on the link here to find out more details.

Maybe you feel a tutor is the answer for you. Give me a call, I promise I will always do my best to help.

If you want to find out more about becoming a brand associate, click here to download more details.

Give me a call on 01296 381665 and I will always give you the best support I can.

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