Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to have some really amazing tutors work with me. (I have also met some awful ones that I’ve had to follow around and pick up the pieces).

Prior to lockdown I always met tutors for the interviews in a coffee shop slightly out of town to make sure they were happy to/able to travel.

(I have a series of steps when recruiting tutors to try and ensure that they are going to be right for the opportunity. This has paid off as some people I have met for an interview have been spectacularly bad). One of the first ladies I met, arrived at the interview with her young son and baby daughter.

She had a wealth of experience working with children in a special needs school. Her son was frustrated at having to sit still and her daughter wanted feeding. Yet she stayed so calm.

Nothing seemed to phase her.

I cast my mind back to when Clara and J had been babies. J was probably about 6 months old. Clara 2. I had been invited to an interview in A&E at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. That morning, the lady who was supposed to look after them cancelled so I felt I had no choice but to take them with me. This was long before mobile phones and I didn’t wear a watch.

When I arrived, I introduced myself and a lady asked me to sit and wait. I would be called when they were ready to see me. We waited. We waited a bit more. There weren’t any clocks around, but it seemed a long time and J was starting to get restless for a feed.

In the end I plucked up the courage and went to ask how long it was likely to be. The lady who had asked me to take a seat had finished for the day and not told anyone I was there!

I was now 2 hours late into the interview….


They took me straight up to the interview room. By now J was screaming and Clara was restless. Outside the office several people sat waiting in their suits. I was dishevelled and two crying children with me…

This was not what I had intended. My experience of working in the Ambulance Control Room seemed completely irrelevant now.

I was invited in, and the interview began.

At the end they stated they had decided. Did I want them to tell me now?

I stated I’d rather have a phone call please and drove home, devastated.

When I got back, the phone was ringing, and they offered me the job. Sadly, I had to decline it in the end because the babysitter proved to be consistently unreliable. I didn’t want that to reflect on me.

But when I met Allie, her situation resonated. Allie was an amazing tutor and got on so well with everyone.

She was patient and took the time to explain as many times, as many ways as was necessary. She got people.

It would have been easy to say no but I’m so glad I didn’t. With tutoring you are meeting families. Life is often chaotic in families, and she didn’t flinch. She seemed to relax and go with the flow. That embodied how she reacted with those she worked with.

Things don’t have to be perfect, it’s how you respond to them that counts.

Have a great day and warm wishes,

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