This one girl probably changed Clara James Tutoring more than anyone else I have ever worked with.

A couple of years after I started the business, a friend of my ex-husband asked him if he thought I’d be willing to help her daughter with her GCSE maths.

I knew the young girl, as I had worked as a TA in her class when she had been back in primary school. When they spoke to me about it, I pointed out that it was years since I had done my GCSE’s. I was willing to help but didn’t know how good I would be.

We agreed that we would give it ago and if at anytime they weren’t happy they could walk away from the agreement . There would be no hurt feelings.

Every week I would spend hours revising what we were going to do in the lessons. I’d create how to sheets, games and activities to embrace the subject. Then we could also do exam style questions. (Pretty much the same format as we use today. Except now, generally speaking I don’t spend hours revising before each lesson).

Often the lessons seemed to consist largely of reminiscing when I was their class Teaching Assistant and smelling what pens I had that day!

Random, but one week a man had come to the door selling things. So, I had purchased some scented pens from him and put them in my pencil case. They had been a huge hit with her.

So, whilst we were working together, I always made sure I had scented pens.

She passed her GCSE’s which the family I don’t think had anticipated. They had lived locally for many years and were well known.

They often spoke about the lessons and how beneficial they had proven to be.

Word spread.

One of her best friends was the lolly pop lady’s daughter. From her, I never struggled for work again. From stepping out of my comfort zone, we went from just supporting primary aged children and those with learning difficulties to children from reception age up to the end of GCSE.

It was slow and incremental, but inevitably stepping out of my comfort zone made a huge difference.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor and you would like our help, click here to find out more: Clara James Brand Associate

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