Tutor's Story - Sadiya

Tutor's Story - Sadiya

Sadiya has worked in the education sector for over 3 decades. She started off as a tutor while still a student herself (in Kuwait), then got into teaching (in India and then in the UK). She worked as an academic supervisor and then moved into senior leadership. 

Posted by Sophie Kitson on 9 February 2022

We asked her to share more about her experience tutoring with Team Up:

"As a former headteacher it gives me immense pride to be a part of Team Up and its mission".

I was attracted to Team Up and its mission of closing the attainment gap for students who are disadvantaged. I was looking to give something back to the community and whilst looking for a voluntary post, I came across Team Up and the excellent work being done by this social enterprise. I applied immediately back in 2018 and have not looked back since.

I have had the privilege of working with students across the Key Stages with Team Up these past three and a half years. I have worked with a vast range of student abilities and schools through Team Up programmes. Not to forget the vast differences in geographical locations across London and beyond!

The students have always been a delight to tutor and most of them are genuinely keen to be on the programme as they feel the smaller groups allow them the freedom to take risks in a safe and secure space. They feel that they can make mistakes and learn through that instead of having to keep quiet or feel embarrassed in taking a chance on an answer in front of a class of 30 odd students. I am always delightfully surprised with each new group of students I take on. 

"I have had the pleasure of seeing students work up from a Grade 3 to a Grade 5 in a short span of 10 to 12 weeks. I have also had maybe a small handful of very reticent students who did not want to be on the programme initially but when they see that we don’t give up on them; they then participate whole-heartedly. This sometimes takes a few lessons for their engagement, but once they see that we are here to help them, they are very receptive".

I have always marvelled at the way students surprise me when they have struggled with a topic at school and then suddenly get it in our Team Up sessions. You can actually feel the light bulb moment when they say OH THAT IS SO EASY. I GET IT NOW. Helping them realise that you can reach a conclusion in many different ways goes a long way in boosting their confidence. I always cherish those moments when students thank us for believing that they can achieve and surpass their target grades. 

As I am blessed to be teaching across a range of year groups across Primary and Secondary phases; I see a wide variety of ways in which student morale is boosted using the Growth Mindset strategies. Praising their effort always boosts their achievement. 

One of my highlights has been getting a student to engage in the pre-penultimate session of the programme and the drastic shift in engagement when the student understood that this tutor is not going to give up on me however disruptive I get.

Team Up has a solid team of Programme Managers who are just a phone call or text message away. We have all the support needed for tutors to make this the best experience ever. Support is guaranteed and always available. We are encouraged to share our ideas and feedback from sessions with our team members. The debriefs serve a huge purpose and are very helpful in getting new tutors to feel safe in articulating their doubts and fears if unsure about any aspect of the tutoring programme. 

"I am lucky to have worked with all the Programme Managers and a big thank you to Freya, Darren, Rachel, Danni and Pippa who are currently our Programme Managers". 

We always have a selection of placement schools we can choose from. We can take a break from a term if we are committed elsewhere and can re-join when needed. We have a lot of flexibility in our schedules and this makes it all worthwhile.

The lessons are easy to administer as we have a load of resources which have been meticulously designed and are very effective and easy to deliver. When we had to switch to online teaching, we had the resources at our fingertips and we could easily adapt those that needed adapting for our particular group.

I have made some good friends from the group of tutors who work with me on various programmes and these friendships have continued even when some tutors have moved on from Team Up.

"I feel that volunteering with Team Up has helped consolidate my pedagogical knowledge and has kept my CPD up to date. I am aware of many things happening in the education sector through my time with Team Up. During the pandemic; the sudden change to online teaching was a bit daunting at first but the excellent training provided by Team Up helped in making it feel as if we were not at all amateurs to online teaching".

I have worked on various programmes with Team Up over the years and every programme is a wonderful and unique experience. There have been weeks where I have worked on ten different programmes a week but I have never felt more fulfilled as a tutor. I have had the good fortune of keeping my pedagogy on track and adding to my skills set. Meeting new students and new fellow tutors from all walks of life has been a great experience. I have also had the experience of helping at the Team Up office with administrative tasks. Team Up also gives us the SSAT awards opportunity. I feel the Team Up experience is a good springboard for anyone looking to go into a teaching career. Programme Managers give you feedback as formal and informal observations are always supportive.

I would highly recommend the Team Up programme as it helps you learn new skills and gives you invaluable experience no matter what field or career you want to pursue in life. I know it has helped some volunteers change careers and apply for a teaching degree. The rewards are manifold and cannot be listed in a few lines. The one hour sessions per week will give you back a whole load more than what you put in, in terms of time and effort.

On behalf of the Team Up team and pupils, we say: Thank you Sadiya!