In an earlier blog, I discussed some of the reading and research into why parents are increasingly turning to tutoring or home education (Dooley, English & Briant, 2019) to supplement their child’s education. In this blog I will discuss the company for whom I have decided to work as a home educator, and why I chose to work for this company rather than others. Consequently, I acknowledge that this blog is based upon my own experiences as an educator rather than more traditional independent research. However, such autoethnographic sharing of experiences have become a common feature of educational research. While autoethnography suffers from a perceived lack of ‘perceived lack of neutrality and objectivity’ (Dyson,2007, p 39 ) one goal of reflexivity in qualitative research is ‘to monitor [the extent to which an author identifies and explicates their involvement and its potential or actual effect upon the findings] and thus enhance the accuracy of the research and the credibility of the findings’ (Berger, 2015, p221). This blog is my attempt to explicate my personal reasons for involving myself with home education and primarily with Full Spectrum Education.
After retiring from full time teaching in 2014 to pursue study in a Doctor of Education degree at Griffith University, I investigated the possibility of working for several companies and eventually signed up with a few of these. It quickly became clear that most of these companies and I did not share common values or beliefs about what the purpose of home education should be, or the best ways to achieve this. I quickly resigned from the company which taught classes of 15 or more on weekends and the company which saw progression through its online resources as the primary means of addressing the educational needs of students. I will admit that it was difficult to leave some of my students, but I simply could not reconcile taking money for a job poorly done. I had met Ben and signed up with Full Spectrum in 2018 and gradually took on more clients with Full Spectrum for the primary reason that Ben’s vision of home education and mine were closely aligned.
You will notice that I have not used the word tutor in this blog. Both Ben and I are experienced educators and recognise that the work that a Full Spectrum educator does for and with our students is the same as the work we did for and with out students when we taught in schools. The only difference is the location in which this takes place. The best thing about this change of location (from school to home) is that we can focus much more fully on the individual needs of one student at a time. Two hours gives us time to address a range of skills and build in novelty or to really hammer a critical skill or concept. Two hours gives us time to vary activities and cover cross curricular content and also gives us time to teach a skill, jointly practise it before giving the student time to have independent practice. We also set follow up homework, so we can check on how well consolidated a skill is and give useful feedback.
Another great thing about working with my Full Spectrum students is that I can be a life coach as well as academic coach. I have enjoyed helping my new secondary students set up effective study areas and to implement effective strategies for keeping on top of homework and assessment (That might be worth a new blog in itself). When they email me for extra work, so they can do a few pesky Maths Word Problems every day of the holidays, you know you are starting to help bring about important growth in attitude towards learning.
All Full Spectrum teachers will differ, but we have one thing in common; we are passionate about helping every child achieve their
potential. Because we are educators, this means helping each child we teach achieve his or her academic potential and life potential.
Because the Full Spectrum team of educators has such a broad range of skills and personalities and specialties, there is an educator
perfect for your child. Relationships matter in education; so, too, does the amount of time a quality educator can spend with the
student working one-to-one to diagnose and address a student’s learning goals and needs. When a child feels capable of taking
charge of his or her learning, and confident that they have someone by their side with the skills to help them achieve their goals, they
have a firm foundation for future growth and success. Such a foundation brings both reassurance to parents and reduces at least one
stress in their busy lives.
BY SUE BURVILL-SHAW
Berger, R. (2013) Now I see it, now I don’t: researcher’s position and reflexivity in qualitative Research, Qualitative Research 15 (2) DOI: 10.1177/1468794112468475
Dooley, K. English, R. & Briant, E, (2019) Parents say their children have tutors to fill gaps, not to charge ahead, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/parents-say-their-children-have-tutors-to-fill-gaps-not-to-charge-ahead-117661
Dyson, M., (2007) My story in a profession of stories: Auto ethnography - an empowering methodology for educators [online]. Australian Journal of Teacher Education (Online), Vol. 32, No. 1,: 36-48.