Language Myth #7: "One-size-fits-all in the classroom"

We catch up with SpLD private tutor Amanda to find out why she thinks one-to-one tutoring can have such a profound impact on those students with Specific Learning Differences. 

1. Tell us a little about your professional background.

I worked in office roles and in customer service when I left university, but found that helping to develop and train individuals and small groups in various projects and processes in each role I took on was what I found most interesting. From this point, my professional background has centred around education and training. After I completed a PGCE and trialled classroom teaching, I discovered a real passion for one-to-one teaching. I took a TEFL course and spent a year working one-to-one with students that were finding it difficult to find the motivation to read and write, and became more involved in tutoring those with dyslexia. I completed the OCR level 5 SPLD course and am focussing on this field, for adults and children.

2. Why are you so passionate about working with SpLD students?

Once any student discovers that by comparing ourselves to others it might mean that we overlook our hidden qualities, how we learn begins to change for the better. I love helping to raise students' confidence, self-esteem and increase their self-awareness. Knowing what makes somebody tick is what sets a student on a path to finding their niche and harnessing their inner creativity.

3. What is your approach with students?  How are lessons adapted and how can it benefit them?

During lessons, I like to encourage, enthuse and take things step by step. As each student is an individual, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. For some, fast-paced activities and games might enthuse, whilst for others, discussion and mnemonics might work. However, confidence and self-belief is needed for any learner.  By completing informal assessments, I like to guide students to discover their strengths, and use these strengths to support what they find challenging. 

4. Do you use any specific resources in your sessions?

I like to use a variety of resources such as, IT or board games, Post-it notes, Magnetic letters, but all activities develop with the individual, so it is dependent on what is most relevant, most helpful and most fun to the student. 

5. What can families do to support someone with an SpLD?

There are many things families can do to assist. Firstly, use what interests them to motivate and use their personal strengths are and let them flourish; anything from telling stories to juggling can be related back to literacy.  Secondly, don't overload them, make it fun! Learning doesn’t always need paper and pens; use technology, use the outdoors, get creative!  Thirdly, structure everything, recap constantly, and know that repetition is a good thing as long as it’s not dull. Finally and perhaps most importantly, be patient and empathetic.

Visit our tutor page to book an informal assessment with Amanda.