Mark joined us in his third-year at LSE, studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Having seen a notice on his university’s website for a tutoring role at Team Up, that aims to close the attainment gap and directly tackle social inequalities, he relished the chance to impact disadvantaged students positively.
We asked him to share more about his experience tutoring with Team Up:
I have always been conscious of the good fortune I have had regarding my educational opportunities. I firmly believe that, as human beings, we all deserve access to the best possible education. With this in mind, I regard tutoring as a method of treating the symptoms of the disease that is chronic government underfunding of schools. Nonetheless, outside of explicitly political means, tutoring remains a robust mechanism through which we can help to alleviate the damaging effects of educational inequality in the UK.
My first programme involved tutoring three students in Key Stage 4 mathematics. They were all bubbly and motivated, especially considering the educational strains of Covid and online learning. We were able to discuss potential career paths, university applications and degree subject choices, and their hobbies and favourite sports.
We would usually start by chatting about how our respective weeks had been, talking through highlights or challenges. Then we would start on the maths; usually, a topic selected by students, informed by the results of their baseline tests. We would often close with a short topic test before choosing which topic to go over next week. Our sessions were always very productive and thoroughly enjoyable.
“My favourite aspect of tutoring is explaining a concept to a student who previously did not understand it; seeing everything click into place is very satisfying. Moreover, I have had a lot of fun getting to know my tutees and developing a good rapport with them. They have all been motivated to learn and a pleasure to teach.”
I have always felt very well supported throughout my time as a tutor for Team Up. My manager, Pippa Way, always ensures that all the tutors understand what is required and know that they can always ask for help if they need it. Moreover, I have always received support when I have needed it. The resources offered by Team Up are exceptional; they always allow me to plan my lessons successfully and get the most out of each class.
There are many ways in which I believe Team Up has helped me develop. Firstly, I have improved my communication and leadership skills, delivering fun and exciting lessons to my pupils. Secondly, I have met some incredible people, other tutors and students included. Lastly, I have enjoyed my time volunteering, making a positive impact to mitigate the institutional inequalities which exist in the UK.
I absolutely would recommend Team Up programmes to any prospective volunteers; not only is it a brilliant way to improve the lives of those around you, but it also provides an opportunity to better yourself and meet brilliant people.
On behalf of the Team Up team and pupils, we say: Thank you Mark!