On the following page I want to tell you some of the stories of people we have tutored over the past few years.
They all deserve so much credit for what they have achieved.
I won’t use names as some of these people I no longer have contact with to ask permission to write their stories. But I hope if the people mentioned here read their story, they will feel a great sense of pride.
Aylesbury Lady is probably the most inspirational person I have ever met and I feel greatly honoured to be a part of what she has achieved.
A couple of years ago as I was first getting into tutoring I had a lady get in touch.
Her dream was to go to University to become an Occupational Therapist.
Before she would be eligible to work on making her dream a reality she would need to complete an access course at the local college.
She had just sat the test the tests to join the course and had, unfortunately failed. Aylesbury Lady hadn’t just missed the mark slightly, she had properly failed.
This was the beginning of the summer holidays. She had asked if she could have another attempt at sitting the tests. Without a pass on these tests she wouldn’t be able to pursue here dream. It would forever remain just that; a dream. Her marks were that bad that the college had suggested to her that resitting the tests was pointless. It would waste not only her time but also theirs.
She begged them to change her mind and, in the end, they did relent.
That was when she got in touch. We had the 6 weeks summer holidays to try and get her very basic level of maths up to a standard where she could pass these tests.
Aylesbury lady, amongst other things was very dyslexic so maths for her was very much an uphill challenge.
I have never met anyone who was so focused on their dream and work so hard.
She was dedicated with a passion.
During the lessons I explained things. We reinforced it with games (to support her learning style and provide a variety of memories to retrieve the information from when it was needed) and then she would continue to practice in her own time between the lessons.
What was the outcome at the end of the summer holidays?
She passed the tests and was allowed onto the course.
She dropped me off a large bunch of flowers that afternoon but I feel guilty. She deserved them so much more than I did.
She went on to complete the access course. We continued to work together during this time and she would often comment on the joy of knowing the college had given up on her at the first hurdle. She had proved them wrong and proved to herself and them that she had got what it takes to succeed.
Aylesbury Lady is an amazing person. If I ever feel like giving up because something is too hard. I look at how far she came. How she persevered when others had given up on her and I know I have no excuse to quit.
Imagine your child is struggling. He is in a small class of bright children, but he is struggling with the basics. He has an amazing imagination but this only serves to distract him from his work.
All the symptoms suggest he is dyslexic but the school have said to hold on and not label him yet. Yet giving him that label would make life so much easier. He would get the support that he clearly needs.
The parents reluctantly agree and they seek out a tutor to support him with his basic spellings and maths. (After a couple of months this becomes one tutor per subject).
That child has worked hard over the past few years. His parents beside him every step of the way. Posters to assist revision cover the house.
He was in year 1 when Starr Tutoring first met the family. He is now going into year 6 and has passed many of the initial entrance exams to some of the best private schools in the country.
Never give up on a child.
Find out how they learn. What inspires them. What will motivate them.
Work with this and their possibilities in life are endless.
Anna S. Thame, Oxon.