“I enjoy a lot of things about my sessions, but a particular highlight that comes to mind is when one of my pupils really didn’t understand a topic we were studying (adding/subtracting fractions), and then by the end of the session they got 100% on their topic test! When a student shows improvement because of your help, it’s a truly lovely experience.”
We asked Amber to share more about her experience tutoring with Team Up:
I grew up in quite a poor area, on the outskirts of London, with a single mum and no siblings. I also come from a minority background. Despite this, I was lucky enough to have a great education and I fondly remember my school life. My school meant I had amazing support from my teachers, with exams and school life stress, connections to exciting companies and other great things too! However, I know that not many people in my area were able to access the same things, and that has made me eternally grateful for the education I was able to achieve.
Despite how cliché it may sound, the genuine reason I wanted to volunteer with Team Up was because I wanted to help other pupils get access to the great education that I was able to have. I don’t believe that someone’s background or their circumstances should limit their quality of education. There’s a continuous cycle in today’s society where someone who grew up in a ‘bad’ area is unable to get out, because they are unable to access good education, and therefore, they end up just staying in the ‘bad’ condition they are in. Especially in today’s society, education is highly valued and in order to access a better lifestyle, education is a key steppingstone.
For the first programme I did with Team Up, I was tutoring online. It was a bit of a struggle just because there were a lot of new things to get used to (e.g using the whiteboard in a Microsoft Teams meeting) but in the end, it was worth it. I have had the opportunity to work with a range of pupils and they’ve all had their own amazing qualities. Some of the pupils preferred to work relatively independently on their work whilst others enjoyed a lot more group work and help from me as their tutor. This variation is exactly what makes it fun to work with children – it keeps me on my toes and continually improves my adaptability and my teaching skills. Different children learn in different ways so learning the best way to teach them has been a great skill I have gained from Team Up.
“I have gained confidence in myself and learned how to create good professional relationships with the pupils and co-workers. There is a lovely environment when teaching with Team Up and I am seriously reconsidering what career I would like to enter in the future. Whilst teaching can be super tough sometimes, it is totally worth it!”
The vast number of programmes available at Team Up has definitely been helpful for me because it allowed me to choose the programmes best suited to my lifestyle. I am currently a university student but because of the number of programmes to choose from, I was able to choose the days which worked best for me to fit around my degree. The resources Team Up provides are also really useful because they provide a great outline for the lesson, and they include a lot of extension activities - which means that there’s no point where the children feel like they have nothing to do. The teamwork atmosphere provided through the debriefs is also really lovely and great to be a part of! It’s nice to hear how other sessions went and what other tutors did to improve pupil behaviour or increase focus.
I would definitely recommend the Team Up programme to other volunteers. It’s a great chance to help disadvantaged children. It’s truly an incredible experience, where you learn so much, so if you have the time to do it, do it!
On behalf of the Team Up team and pupils, we say: Thank you Amber!