Louise completed an English degree at Exeter University and went on to pursue a career in Television, meeting and interviewing some incredible people, such as former US President Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King’s widow - Coretta Scott King, and “The Greatest” - Mohammed Ali. She loves writing stories, and really enjoyed the story-telling that went into producing TV programmes.
We asked her to share more about her experience tutoring with Team Up:
“It’s a wonderful way to contribute to a better future for young people and, by extension, society as a whole, whilst enriching one’s own life skills.”
It’s such a cliché I know, but having been so fortunate in my work life, I really felt it was time to ‘give something back’. I truly believe that education is the most important thing you can give to a child. If we can educate all our children to a certain standard we can go some way to redressing all the other injustices in our world. Covid only served to widen the gap between the standard of education offered to different demographics in British society. When I discovered Team Up and the fabulous work the charity is doing in trying to bridge that gap, I knew I wanted to be part of it.
I’ve encountered a real variety of characters in my virtual classrooms. The older children in KS4 tended to be a bit shy and reticent. It proved a bit harder to draw these pupils out and encourage them to interact. The younger ones in KS3 have generally been more lively – not always in a good way! The challenge in these cases is trying to keep their attention. However, they’ve all been polite and amusing and I can genuinely say it’s exciting to see what potential these young minds hold.
I LOVE reading their creative writing. Regardless of the grammar and spelling we have to work on, their stories are always full of imagination and are often quite quirky and amusing. Scary stories are popular so I sometimes have problems sleeping at night! One of my pupils has recurring characters called Bob and Dod who I’m always happy to see turn up in his writing!
The curriculum resources have been invaluable as, even though I might know the difference between a noun and a verb, it’s quite another thing to explain that to a young person, especially if English is their second language. It’s been so helpful to have a nice, neat, illustrated explanation at my fingertips.
“It’s been so nice for me to gain a new skill later on in my career. It just shows we can keep learning throughout our lives. I’ve also enjoyed rekindling my love of creative writing. I’ve been relearning a few tricks regarding writing skills myself, whilst teaching the kids”.
On behalf of the Team Up team and pupils, we say: Thank you Louise!