This blog will be a space where we can get down our thoughts in relation to all things education. On these pages you will be able to find our ideas, our tips, our concerns and our celebrations. But first of all, a little context. Here is a little bit about who we are, what we do, and why we do it…
It all started with a conversation between two teachers (of which I am one) trying to find a solution. A solution to the problem of children falling behind. Falling behind with no obvious route back to those ‘age related’ expectations.
One solution: 1:1 tuition, an excellent opportunity to adapt teaching approaches and provide a truly student-centred education! The plan stemmed from a belief that I imagine is shared by the vast majority of teachers. A belief that is one of the driving forces behind the teaching profession. The belief that all students should be entitled to and receive an education that is relevant and suited to them as individuals. This is surely where the best learning will take place! At the time of writing, when we think of the 1:1 tuition that we are currently providing, it makes us incredibly proud. Students are receiving an individual education, tailored to their requirements and interests, delivered by fully qualified and talented teachers and more importantly, progress is being seen within schools. A difference is being made.
I urge you not to assume that I am writing about 1:1 tuition solely in relation to the ‘problem’ that I mentioned earlier, it is not only an option for those falling behind. 1:1 tuition offers an opportunity to push students on, challenge them and encourage a deeper understanding. Taught in a manner that is customised for them as individuals, we can support students to master the concepts that they are covering within school.
Extending our approach and values
The student is 100% at the centre of our thinking at Marvel. We can also say from first hand experience from within the schools that we have worked in, day in day out the students are at the very centre of their thinking. Unfortunately, partly due to the very rigid view of what students should be able to do at certain ages (a view that is out of a school’s control), there will always be students that fall behind. Even more unfortunately, due to further factors outside of a school’s control, schools cannot always navigate every student that falls behind back to their ‘age related’ expectations. Factors such as tight budgets, limited time due to a heavy teacher workload, large and growing class sizes, all contribute to the sad truth that some students will fall behind and remain behind. Of course, we both knew that a genuine comprehensive and realistic solution to ensure that no student falls behind is nigh impossible (after all, what do you expect when every student is judged using the same measure?). It is the right of all students to be provided with an education, and in an ideal world the education would be suited to them as individuals. How can you provide an education suited to each and every individual within a class of 30+ students? The answer to this question does not come as a surprise… you can’t! Or at least, you can’t when restricted to the traditional view of schooling where students are sat within the same classroom all day with their classmates learning the same material delivered in the same way being judged by the same standards. But, there is an opportunity. Intervention sessions are common place within most schools. A timetabled session where gaps in knowledge can be addressed, teaching styles can be adapted, students can be pushed on and challenged, individual objectives can be focused on or reiterated after a lesson, pre-teaching can take place to get students ready for a lesson… the possibilities are endless! We know that this is a perfect opportunity to provide those students with an education that suits them perfectly. An area in which both of us feel passionate about now has a place within the regular school day. We thought, if we could provide schools with intervention teachers who share our passion, creativity, adaptability, and understanding of the curriculum, then we could make a real difference in the education of even more students.
Back to the beginning… “Where do we start?”
Just to keep you on your toes, let us go back to the very beginning now you know who we are and what our aim is. We asked ourselves, what does education look like in an ideal world? We think it is where an individual’s interests, skills, hobbies and circumstance (or in fact any piece of information that is deemed useful or important) can be utilised to give their education meaning. This ideal world scenario is our aim, but “where do we start?” became the next question for us to tackle. It began close to home, looking at our own practice, our own values and our own sense of what is important when providing an effective education. As educational professionals, we pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching because we know that this is a hugely important factor in providing an effective education. Knowing how to communicate an idea is a skill, as is understanding different learning styles and being able to adapt an approach accordingly. To make a difference to as many students as possible, one requirement was to find the teachers/ tutors that can make it happen. To do this, we are continually on the look out for the very best, skilled, passionate and committed tutors. We hold our values and standards in the highest regard and this is upheld by all of the Marvel tutors.
We feel it is important to explain our name as it is a representation of our values and aims. It stemmed out of a discussion about effective teaching. The type of teaching that we strive for. It is not simply the teaching of facts or methods, but it is helping students to think for themselves, kick starting an inner drive where students will look for answers, allowing student to marvel at their ideas and the sense of awe that ensues.
‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think.’ – Albert Einstein.
As we have mentioned, our aim is to provide an education that has particular meaning to as many students as possible. We decided that the best way to do this was to work closely alongside the student and parent to find out exactly what it is that they require from private tutoring. What are the goals? What are we aiming for? Our service is personal and individualised. We take measures to ensure that we understand the tuition that is required and how students can achieve their goals. This is all down to our carefully thought out process, moving from our enquiry form (http://marveleducation.co.uk/for-students-1) all the way through to finding the perfect match; interests, skills, knowledge, understanding, and location: all important factors that help us to find the perfect tutor for our students. 1:1 sessions outside of schools, 1:1 sessions within schools and intervention sessions, this is how we are going to begin making a real positive difference for as many students as we can.
We identified a problem… so here we are!