Our academic tutors interviewed for you!
Dear tutors, I have a few questions to ask you! Let me thank you in advance for your collaboration: we will so allow our clients (parents) and learners (pupils, students) to know us better!
Which are the 3 values which characterize you best?
Trust - Love - Responsibility
Respect - Exactness - Self-fulfilment
Adventure - Transmission - Open-mindedness
Fairness - Compassion - Enterprise
As a student, which subject did you find most problematic? Why? 😉
Math and physics, without a doubt. 📐 Slight aversion - rather silly now seen with the benefit of hindsight – at the time for scientific subjects, the usefulness of which I didn't really comprehend then. I'm feeling a little regretful today, especially about how I neglected math. I would have needed such support and my parents could have pushed me in this direction a little more ;)
Arts: I could have learned how to draw🎨
English: I had many teacher changes during my first year (teacher in charge got sick, many substitutes), I had very shaky foundations and terrible accent.
One year, a teacher would always make fun of me because he would systematically misunderstand what I said. 😕
Did you personally need to resort to school tutoring as a student?
I personally didn't. My brother did for a math boost when he was 14-15. I think it would pretty accurate from me to say that a few hours scattered over a few weeks were enough at the time to get him back on track for a long time, I think even until the time of high-school graduation where he got solid 80% (okay, he's just confirmed it!😊). He only needed someone close, reliable and benevolent to help him to catch up
As far as I'm concerned, there was no such thing as regular support from a teacher, my parents came from a very humble background. However, I would often do my homework with the neighbours' children who were already students in pharmacy and medicine. They somehow supported me and it was motivating to get to work in a studious atmosphere.
Absolutely. My mathematics teacher gave me individual tuition for a year: the next year, my grades were so high that eveybody thought I was cheating in the tests. But I never did. I simply got the trick of doing the test exercises efficiently and successfully [...].
What do you particularly enjoy about the job of school tutor?
I've always liked it. I first needed to do it to pay for my studies, I was boarding master and I would help the students with their homework. I did this for 3 years. I then became an army officer and alongisde the technical training that the army offers, I started giving literacy and school tutoring classes to some of the 10 to 20% of the students who can barely read and write...
I've always enjoyed being helpful to others. Seeing them improve and learn has always been very inspiring for me.
Definitely being able to help someone overcome a difficulty and reach the ultimate goal!
Teaching remotely: why and how are you learning how to cope with this new teaching/learning mode?
Save for the slightly constrained aspect of this change due to the present circumstances, the transition was rather natural, the use of technology perfectly making up for the disappearance of the traditional classroom. I have the feeling of being more attentive during the lessons, and so for the students: as much interaction, higher attention, virtually unlimited technological capactities, the usual quality of service is largely delivered and I am currently thinking about how to take teaching to the next level by making the most of all this!
I am totally fond of ‘online/remote teaching’. It's actually one of my passions. I love the flexible side of it, freeing teacher and students from time and space constraints. ;)
It only took minor adaptations in the usual lesson plans and here we are with at least as much - probably more, actually - closeness, complicity with the students.
Your best tutoring experience as a tutor:
A few years ago, I gave a Luxembourg student English tutoring classes, he eventually made tremendous progress. Let me simply add that he was a very industrious and applied student.
Last year, I helped a student with his German as a foreign language programme. Even though this subject wasn't capital in his curriculum, the progress achieved in 3 months enabled him to get a much higher grade and glean a few precious compensation points for the other exams...
Generally speaking, meeting demotivated students who in just a few weeks manage to take their average grade up from 6/20 to 15/20 and seeing that they need me less and less - here's for me a reason to be satisfied.
What do you normally expect from your students prior to the start of a tutoring course?
I simply ask them to be active - I'm not the parent, nor the official teacher, I rather see myself as a coach who is going to give them on top of the subject itself, the method to adopt to become successful. Very often, they are close to hitting the mark and it's sad to notice too many of them fail when all they needed was a little boost.
· To commit themselves on a journey with me, a learning journey
· To shoulder their responsibilities
· To be willing to learn, to keep their mind and heart open
· To participate in exchanges with me on equal footings
I expect them to be focused; which implies that at least a few minutes prior to the lesson, they have put aside all other activities and have started to concentrate on their lesson, thereby conditioning themselves for efficient learning and assimilation. Ideally, they can even devote a few minutes to a quick review of the subject matter.
Which subject(s) do you teach as part of your tutoring activities?
Foreign or second languages: mostly English, more occasionally French. In a country like Luxembourg, language teaching based upon the comparative approach to languages is extremely fruitful and allows embracing a huge amount of knowledge of all kinds!
French as a foreign language, English as a foreign language, Spanish as a foreign laguage, marketing and communication, French (for native speakers)
I have taught French, French as a foreign language and math up to higher education level. This year, my goal is to teach up to high school graduation.
What do you like about this subject?
That's what my students back then would always ask me: how can you like French?! They didn't seem to like this language at school: too complicated, teachers too boring,... I have always enjoyed foreign languages like French, Italian, English, Spanish, Luxembourgish, and many more.
Well, languages: their intercultural dimension, their usefulness for day-to-day exchanges between people make these subjects particularly lively and dynamic things. What's more, unlike for other school subjects not as closely connected to everyday life, no need to promote their importance. In Luxembourg, everybody - the young and the not-so-young - is aware that language ability is almost a factor of economic and social survival!
I like teaching math (during private tuition) as this subject is normally taught in too theoretical a fashion. One soon gets the impression that it will never be useful in everyday life.
Which other subjects would you like to give tutoring in one day?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a history teacher. This subject has remained my favourite. To comprehend the present, one must be aware of the past.
Time and stress management - these are key to passing an exam!
I have great interest for history and actual passion for geography. My readings also often lead me to philosophy, economy, political science, sociology... My feeling is that a linguist like me is particularly well-equipped for a transition towards these subjects. A great part of my teaching instruments would precisely be easily transferable and the 'concrete, real' aspect of these subjects would allow me further contextualise my teaching contents. I'm looking forward to the day when people trust me for these.
I wish to thank you very much for supplying these details. Parents and children/students will then realize that in each EVAschool tutor lies dormant a former student who may have run into difficulties along their high school or academic education!
Humanity, humility and humour also allow me to support my own students, make them grow and reach self-fulfilment, as "attending dusty libraries and handling illuminated manuscripts will never replace the practice of human life and lonely reflection." (Gustave Planche)