An interview with one of our volunteer online tutors – Arash Khosravi

An interview with one of our volunteer online tutors – Arash Khosravi

Volunteer interviews Volunteers What's new?

Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today?
I went through school and after that, I did Economics at A-level and then studied Economics full time at UCL. During my time at UCL, I was the president of the UCL branch of the charity Team Up. After graduation, I was offered a job at the Bank of England where I worked as a Data Analyst.

What made you decide to become a volunteer tutor?
I really feel like I want to give back to society and give back to people that are in a less fortunate position than I am, through no fault of their own, and help them achieve their full potential. I did some informal tutoring a few years ago and I got really good feedback. That made me think and I then decided to take my strengths and use them to help people that really need the support. Since volunteering at UCL, I was trying to find other opportunities to volunteer that could fit in with my work schedule. I find that tutoring is a really good option and that I can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

What did you enjoy most about tutoring your scholar?
What I enjoyed most was really seeing the development of my scholar throughout the 12 week term. I think the highlight for me was in week 4 when I logged into Skype for our session and my scholar said: ‘’Sir, sir you know the thing we’ve done with the area of the square? I tried it in class and my teacher said I got the question right!” She was really chuffed about it and that was great to hear. I think engaging with the scholar and building a good relationship is what I’ve enjoyed most. I was very lucky to be matched with someone who is really engaged and ready to learn.

What challenges have you helped your scholar to face?
What I found at the beginning of this term in my scholar was the fact that she was doubting herself. I think the challenge was to reinforce the knowledge she already had and building her confidence. In the beginning, I would ask a question and she would attempt to solve 60% of the question but wouldn’t have the confidence to work through the remaining 40%. She would then say she did not know how to do it. I focussed on building her confidence and to say to herself, I do know how to do it and I won’t give up. It’s really great to see how much her maths has developed and improved.

What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
I think a good example of one of our goals would be the mock test my scholar had coming up. A week before the mock test we did two tutoring sessions so I could help her prepare for the test. After the test, she came back and said that a lot of the work we revised did come up in the test and she really felt confident answering them. We also set up goals for some of the topics she felt a bit weaker in and although she was struggling with it earlier on in the term she was able to tackle them after a few week’s sessions.

Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
Because I feel that students at school have a wide range of abilities and are at different levels. I don’t think that the modern skill system can factor that in with a class of 30 students, with different abilities and learning styles. Some young people need additional support and a lot of them don’t have the opportunity to get 1-to-1 support and can fall behind. I think tutoring can help fill that gap between school and home. Free tutoring is great to bridge the gap between young people who can afford private tutoring and those who cant.

Do you have a message for young people?
I would say they should keep working, keep trying and keep persevering with whatever they want to do in life. There’s no one path to get you where you want to go. Be who you are and don’t try to be anyone else. And with that mindset try things and really persevere. Like with the GT Scholar Programme, even if you don’t get it results initially, keep trying and pushing forward and towards where you want to go.

How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
My dad is a maths lecturer, I could not get away from maths as a young person (laughs). Until about GCSE I was rubbish at maths, I used to get 40%. I think it was because I wanted to get away from maths because my dad will always be talking about it. At that age, I did not realise the importance of it. Until my dad sat me down and got me to engage and focus and made me realise the importance of it. In terms of other subjects, I did not have formal tutors but had support from my peers and family that helped me a lot.

What have you gained from volunteering with GT Scholars?
I feel like I gained a lot of confidence. I was a bit nervous before my first session because I see it as a real responsibility and duty to help a young person on their journey with mathematics. I really wanted to do a good job and make an impact on my scholar’s life. Having my scholar come back by the fourth session saying how she benefited from our sessions had really boosted my confidence. I think there are a lot of children out there that don’t see their own potential and it’s really opened my eyes to that. I have also gained a great relationship with my scholar and we even joke around during sessions sometimes.

Would you recommend becoming a tutor with GT Scholars?
Definitely. I think the whole process is really good and I gained a lot from the experience. For a tutor to be able to come in and really feel the positive impact made with a scholar and really seeing the journey you’re both going through during the 12 weeks is just amazing. The programme is really great for those scholars who are at average or just below, to give them that extra boost they need. Volunteering as a tutor is a nice way to start volunteering, whether it’s your first time or if you’re an experienced volunteer. I definitely recommend it in terms of it being a great way to volunteer and help young people.

Great Ideas For One-to-One Tutoring Sessions

Great Ideas For One-to-One Tutoring Sessions

Volunteers What's new?

Tutoring should be a fulfilling experience for your scholar and for yourself. It should not be something that will be dreaded by your scholar and it should be something that is different from how your scholar learns at school.

With that being said, there can sometimes be a tug-of-war between trying to keep the tutoring sessions serious to complete the task at hand and making the sessions enjoyable. Creating a balance between the two is key, and once you are able to achieve that, you will find yourself looking forward to the tutoring sessions with your scholar and they will run more smoothly and effectively. 

One thing to keep in mind is to maintain your structure in terms of the content you intend to teach and the goals you have for those sessions, but be flexible in how you deliver the content and also how you interact with your scholar. Here are a few ideas you can use to keep your tutoring sessions energetic and effective.

Use icebreakers
Your first one-to-one tutoring session can be nerve-wracking for both you and your scholar. One of the ways to combat this feeling is to create or implement session icebreakers. This is a good way to get both of you comfortable and a good way to get to know a bit more about each other beyond the formalities of tutor and scholar. These icebreakers can simply be a 5-minute discussion about general topics outside of the planned content. These discussions can also help you to find the best ways to make the sessions most effective for your scholar.

Personalise your sessions
It is one thing to tutor someone, and another to tutor them effectively and produce the best results. It is important to find out more about your scholar and what they are looking to get out of your sessions and also what they want to personally achieve at school and beyond. Once you can establish a general outline for the first few sessions, you can personalise the sessions in a way which works well for both you and your scholar. 

Be supportive
Providing your scholar with support during each of your one-to-one sessions can greatly improve the way in which you interact with one another and it helps to boost their confidence. You need to be encouraging and to show them that the tutoring sessions are a safe space for them to be open about the areas or topics they struggle in. This will allow them to feel more comfortable and confident in how they approach the content you are tutoring, as well as establishing a respectful and comfortable relationship with you as their tutor. 

Encourage independent thinking
Tutoring is also important for encouraging your scholar to think independently. The idea behind this is to foster a growth mindset within your scholar so that they are able to tackle tasks independently and build their self-confidence. One way to do this is to help them to stand on their own feet and to think beyond the assistance you provide. During your tutoring sessions, you can create a short quiz or other mentally stimulating techniques that will help your scholar to build confidence in the subject and to not be dependent on your teachings alone. This will shift their perspective on how they approach topics, and it will promote their ability to think critically.

Engage your scholar
Another way to make your one-to-one tutoring sessions more productive and fun for both you and your scholar is to keep them engaged. During the session, you can get your scholar to actively participate by asking questions as the session progresses. If you only wait to ask questions at the end, you might lose their attention during the session. Keeping them engaged also creates room for them to ask any questions they may have regarding a particular topic and it allows them to better understand the topics being presented. 

Switch gears
Rather than sticking to the conventional methods of tutoring, you should use different methods to relay the information to your scholar. There are tons of learning tools available for you to use such as online videos, presentations, and other content. Introducing different learning tools makes the sessions less monotonous and more engaging, and it creates different ways for your scholar to learn and retain information. You can also get your scholar to participate by getting them to create short presentations to go over the content and pose any questions they may have for you at the end of their presentation. Furthermore, you can also incorporate the use of funny gifs or memes to get a particular point across. Just as long as it does not take away from the effectiveness of your tuition and their ability to learn, you should always explore new ways to teach your scholar.

Get their feedback
It takes two to tango, and feedback should not only be for you to give but also for you to receive from your scholar. Allow them to express and share their thoughts through feedback sessions, and be open to any constructive criticism. This feedback can then be used to learn how best to work with and for each other through your sessions.

For many scholars, learning can seem like such a task. However, your tutoring sessions should shed a different light on learning and stimulate their desire to learn. So don’t be afraid to try something new in your sessions and give you and your scholar something to always look forward to.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

How To Keep Your Scholar Interested In Their Tutoring Sessions

How To Keep Your Scholar Interested In Their Tutoring Sessions

Volunteers What's new?

Being a tutor can be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling roles a person can take on. The opportunity to get to help and guide a young person to improve academically and seeing their progress from the hours you put in during tutoring is worth the time and effort invested.

However, tutoring can sometimes be challenging when trying to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going from the first session to the last session with a scholar. But, there are a few things you can do as a tutor to avoid this or in some cases get out of this slump. Here are a few ways to keep your scholar interested in their tutoring sessions.

Understanding your Scholar
One of the best ways to avoid the disinterest of a scholar is to understand them from the get-go, including what works best for them in terms of grasping concepts and how they relate to you. A constructive way to go about this is to make sure that they are comfortable enough to be able to discuss any potential issues that may or may not arise in the time that you are tutoring them. To do this, you need to create a safe space for your sessions. In creating this safe space, it is also important to establish boundaries with your scholar regarding respect for your role and understanding that there are also rules to ensure that you can do your best as their tutor.

Mutual Feedback
Another avenue to explore is having regular feedback sessions with your scholar. These can focus on one of two aspects. The first aspect is where you ask them how they are finding the tutoring sessions with you and if you are engaging them enough and relaying your knowledge well enough that they are able to comprehend everything. This can be done after your session or you can get them to fill out a questionnaire you’ve prepared via email correspondence. This will let you know where you stand as a tutor and whether the way in which you approach the sessions is working.

The second aspect is where you give them feedback on their progress and the areas you feel they should work on outside of the tutoring sessions. How you approach this feedback session is very important and this is where understanding your scholar also plays in. Some scholars are sensitive to constructive criticism, which can be due to a lack of confidence. So it is important that you give them feedback in the friendliest way possible. It’s also important to reward and praise any progress made. If they feel that you as a tutor don’t see or acknowledge the strides that they are making, it can cause a nonchalant approach towards future sessions and work assigned to them.

Switch Gears
During your time as their tutor, it would be good to implement different approaches to each session in order to keep boredom and disinterest at bay. Incorporating fun but effective elements to the sessions such as interactive games or quizzes can create new ways of learning topics. As long as they do not distract from the learning, these activities foster a positive environment for your scholar to flourish and learn.

When it comes to the structure of the sessions, it is good to be consistent but it’s also important to make sure it’s interactive and inviting. If they enjoy the session, it makes the task at hand easier to approach and the learning more effective. Other elements that you can look into are visual elements such as pictures, GIFs and memes that are related to the topic. You can also use short videos and other activities that stimulate the brain. This will ensure that your scholar leaves your tutoring sessions feeling enlightened and energised.

The Scholar becomes the Master
“But I’m the tutor!” Yes, you most certainly are. This role reversal simply means that you designate the last few minutes to let your scholar teach you what you have taught them in that session. This helps the scholar revise what they have learnt and it also helps you to determine how they are grasping and handling the content you are teaching them. It doesn’t have to be the entire session’s work, but key components of the session that you want to make sure they have understood.

This can also be a spur-of-the-moment test to help them develop their ability to think on their feet and build their confidence in the subject. It also pushes them to revise their work more so that they are not caught off guard in future sessions. This exercise is also beneficial to you as the tutor as you get to observe how effective your tutoring has been and how to improve on it. It fosters growth for both you and your scholar.

Have Patience
Having patience when tutoring a scholar is one of the most important necessities. Some scholars require more time to grasp concepts than others, so you need to be patient with them. Having patience also allows you to take a step back and be more understanding and accommodating of your scholar and it sets the tone between the two of you. It will show them that you are happy to help them and it will encourage them when they are struggling. Patience also goes a long way for many scholars and it is a contributing factor to how your scholar participates and adjusts to your tutoring over the course of the programme.

Tutoring is a rewarding experience that positively impacts you and your scholar in more ways than one. If you feel like you would like to help in making a difference in the lives of young people, then you definitely should volunteer to be a GT Scholars tutor.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

7 Useful Skills You Can Develop Through Volunteer Mentoring

7 Useful Skills You Can Develop Through Volunteer Mentoring

Volunteers What's new?

Volunteer mentoring is a rewarding role that offers the opportunity to really make a tangible and effective difference in the lives of young people. Volunteer mentors receive a real sense of purpose and many other emotional paybacks from their work.

Together with these rewards, volunteer mentors also learn valuable new skills and experiences that they can apply to their career or personal life. Here a 7 useful skills that you can gain from volunteer mentoring.

Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity and ability to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions effectively. Emotional intelligence affects all areas of your life, especially with regards to handling interpersonal relationships and displaying empathy. As a mentor, you have to listen to your mentee and empathise with their situation. You have to put yourself in their shoes so that you can understand what they are going through and relate it to yourself. You will then have to communicate your understanding in an effective way so that they feel like their feelings are being acknowledged and appreciated. These interactions will build up your emotional intelligence and help you to handle all interpersonal relationships well. In a work environment, this skill will be especially useful when working in a team or with your colleagues in general. It will help you to lead team discussions, resolve and avoid conflicts, and ensure that everyone is cooperating and working together effectively.  

Leadership and Management Skills
As a mentor, you are put in a position of authority and you are looked upon as a role model and a source of guidance. Though this may seem daunting, being a role model teaches you important leadership and management lessons such as responsibility, effective communication, time management, and accountability. It is your responsibility as a mentor to ensure that mentoring sessions take place on schedule, that discussions are productive, and that desired outcomes are reached. It is also your responsibility to motivate your mentee and ensure that they feel supported. These skills will help you manage your work tasks well which will show employers that you are responsible enough to take on leadership roles. 

Adaptability
As a mentor, you will usually work with a different mentee every term or year. This will expose you to a wide range of various young people with different personalities, talents, and aspirations. They will also be from different backgrounds and face different challenges in their everyday life. Through this, you will learn how to adapt your mentoring sessions to the young person specifically. This will build your adaptability skills which will make you more versatile and make it easier for you to work under change or pressure, which is something valued by employers. This exposure to different people will also build interpersonal skills and that will help you to relate to different types of people. This is valuable in the workplace as you will be interacting with many different people from various departments and companies, and also from various cultures and nationalities. 

Self-Reflection and Self-Evaluation
Volunteer mentoring and listening to a young person’s thoughts and feelings will put you in a position to reflect on your own life. You will use your own life and the decisions you made to mentor the young person, setting examples of good and bad responses, reactions, and decisions. Reflecting on yourself allows you to become more self-aware and better at making future decisions. It allows you to pause and evaluate yourself to make sure that you are doing the right thing, and it makes you more aware of the consequences of your actions so that you will now know how to prevent negative outcomes. For example, if you know that a certain habit or behaviour has negative effects on your colleagues or friends, then you will learn to work on changing this habit or behaviour. Self-evaluation is an important part of personal development and it will have positive effects on various aspects of your life.

Resilience
Resilience is about keeping a positive attitude in the face of adversity, and it is often related to self-confidence and self-belief. It is one of the main skills you will teach a young person as a volunteer mentor. It is an important skill that will help them to face current and future challenges, keep a clear mind when dealing with adversity, and to never give up. As a volunteer mentor, you will set a good example by building up your own resilience and believing in yourself. This will greatly increase your confidence which will improve the way you work and interact with people. 

Developing a Personal Brand
As a volunteer mentor, you will be delivering a consistent message to young people that you have developed from your own life, your past decisions, and your experiences. This consistent message will become a personal brand that will be easily identifiable to your mentee. A personal brand will show others that you are someone who has specific skills and talents. It will make you stand out to employers and colleagues and it will make you more confident in yourself and more charismatic. Developing a personal brand is also helpful to entrepreneurs as it will help develop your business identity and to network with other businesses and entrepreneurs. 

Problem Solving
During mentoring sessions, your mentee will usually approach you with a problem or situation that they are facing or not sure how to deal with. They will come to you for encouragement but more importantly for advice and effective solutions. This builds up your problem-solving skills. It will teach you how to look at a problem with objectivity, to find a solution for the problem, and to find a way to prevent the problem from happening again. This skill is something that you will definitely need for any workplace in any career. Even if your work is straightforward and easy, you will eventually face challenges in some way or form that you will need to solve. If you have good problem-solving skills, you will be able to show employers that you can solve a range of challenges, and you will also show them that you can solve challenges without their help. This independence will show them that you are capable and efficient.  

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the skills that you can gain from volunteering as a mentor. You will find even more useful skills and tools that you can apply to both your career and personal life. 

If you would like to help a young person between the ages of 14 and 18 to achieve their career or personal aspirations, then contact us to find out how you can join our after-school mentoring programme. Our mentoring programme welcomes volunteer mentors from various career fields and backgrounds. Visit our website to find out more.

Can Volunteer Tutoring Boost Your CV?

Can Volunteer Tutoring Boost Your CV?

Volunteers What's new?

When it comes to volunteer tutoring, it is often thought that only those on the receiving end of the volunteering service are being benefited. However, there are many short-term and long-term benefits that volunteer tutors receive when they choose to take on this role. One of these benefits is how this volunteer tutor role can boost your CV.

When a potential employer is going through your CV, they will always assess what extracurricular work you have done. When they see that you have previously taken on the role of a volunteer tutor, it reveals a few things about your character and the kind of person they would be bringing on board to work for them.

It shows initiative
Taking on the initiative to be a volunteer tutor is a great way to get your foot in the door to the working world. Potential employers will see that you are not primarily driven by money and that you are willing to put in work when it is needed without being prompted to do so. It shows that the betterment of others is something you take into consideration and that you are also able to think beyond yourself. It also shows that you are proactive and willing to go the extra mile.

More exposure for you
By becoming a volunteer tutor you create more opportunities for yourself to be seen. It makes your CV more captivating to potential employers and gives them an insight into how you spend your time outside of university or work and an overlook of your skills and capabilities. The opportunity to be a volunteer tutor also puts you in an environment you may not usually be exposed to, and in doing so, it allows you to meet other undergraduates and professionals who may be able to pass your CV to other people. This creates a platform for you to network with different peers your age who may also be volunteer tutors, as well as potential organisations you may want to work with in the future. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor can also expose you to different potential career paths that you can look into.

Improved skills and experience
In as much as you are helping someone else improve their skills through your volunteer tutoring, you are also improving your skills and experience in the process. You have to find ways to be able to relate to the scholars you teach and find ways to relay the information you know to them. This improves with every tutoring session you have and helps to sharpen your communication, leadership, interpersonal, and performance skills. Being a volunteer tutor also helps with improving your thinking skills and personal development. In doing this, it gives you the right skills and experience for the workplace and under different conditions and environments.

Time management
Becoming a volunteer tutor requires you to have good time management in order to balance your academic career and personal time as well as being a tutor. It shows potential employers your organisational skills and how well you are able to manage the demands of studying and tutoring while working under pressure in some instances. Employers like to see that their potential employees have good time management skills and are able to allocate their time accordingly and prioritise different tasks effectively. Taking on the role of a volunteer tutor is also a good way to utilise spare time and learning how to manage that.

Preparation for the future
Being a volunteer tutor helps to prepare you for working environments and other future roles you may look into pursuing. Even though you have the free will to undertake your tutoring sessions in times that work well for both you and your scholar, you still work under a specific structure and you must still meet the required hours as well as produce certain results with regards to your scholar. You also have to maintain a standard of integrity and abide by the rules that govern the volunteers within that organisation. This shows potential employers that you have the ability to follow instructions and how well you are able to fulfil designated tasks and work independently.

It shows that you are reliable
Becoming a volunteer tutor is one thing, but doing the job that is required of you is another. When taking on the role, you have to ensure that you will be able to fully apply yourself to the role. This is an aspect that potential employers look at – how reliable you are and how well do you perform in your role? The more reliable you prove to be, the higher your chances of growing professionally are and the more people trust you to do things that require greater responsibility.

An opportunity for personal enrichment
Lastly, being a volunteer tutor creates room for your own personal enrichment. It helps you discover strengths or interests you may not have known that you had, and it provides you with a different perspective on how you can approach your career and personal life. There are always lessons to be learnt and growth to be experienced when you open your mind to new possibilities. You also learn some of the things that work and don’t work for you and also leave having acquired some self-enhancement through the whole experience.

If you would like to boost your CV and become a volunteer tutor, let us know! GT Scholars runs an after-school tutoring programme that is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic aspirations. We aim to tackle educational inequality and improve social mobility by helping young people gain access to the most selective universities and the most competitive careers. Visit our website to find out how you can become a tutor today.

Volunteers and Friends of GT Scholars – Are you InQUIZitive!?

Volunteers and Friends of GT Scholars – Are you InQUIZitive!?

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

The weekend is finally here and we hope you had a fantastic week! We know #VolunteersWeek is over, but we couldn’t let it go by without giving all our awesome volunteers a fun activity to get involved in! Read on to find out more and see which other exciting things you can be a part of this month!

What’s your Volunteer Persona?

In our last newsletter we mentioned we had something in store for all our volunteers and it’s finally here! We’ve come up with a fun, quick and easy quiz to help you find out more about your Volunteer Persona! (Yes – that’s a thing!) We’d love to know your thoughts on it – you can find the quiz here!

Could you volunteer at next week’s workshop?

Our next workshop, SpeakUp: Find Your Voice, Change The World, will be taking place on Saturday 22nd June 2019 from 10am-4pm at Goldsmiths University. This workshop will be all about public speaking and presentation skills and engaging young people in activism and making a difference in London. If you’d like to lend a helping hand as an event volunteer, please get in touch with me and I will contact you with further details.

State of London Debate
If you haven’t already heard, on Thursday 27th June 2019, the Mayor of London will be speaking at the State of London Debate. This free event will be an open forum for all Londoners to engage with each other and join the conversation about important issues with the Mayor. The debate is taking place at The O2 in London and you can register and find out more details here!

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

 

Volunteers and Friends of GT Scholars – Volunteer this summer!

Volunteers and Friends of GT Scholars – Volunteer this summer!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

We hope you’ve had an amazing week and are as excited as we are to be stepping into the first summer weekend! It’s also the start of Volunteers’ Week, and this week’s newsletter includes some great volunteer opportunities you can get involved in. Curious to find out how? Read on for more details!

Something new is heading your way!

We’re so grateful for the support we get from our volunteers and it’s volunteers just like you that make a huge difference in the lives of our young people. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been cooking up some ideas of a fun activity for Volunteers Week and beyond. We’ve been working on something that all our volunteers can participate in and we’ll be sharing further details with you in the coming week – So keep an eye out for what we have in store!

Invite us to Speak!
As you know, we’re all about creating opportunities for young people, especially those from low-income backgrounds, to succeed in school and beyond. We’d love to share more about what we do with people so that we can increase our reach and continue to help young people in need! If you know of any forums or speaking engagements you think we could be a part of to make this happen, then please get in touch with me to chat further.

Write a Blog Post!

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to volunteer, you can join us as a guest blogger for our blog!  The blog posts are a great way for you to share your thoughts with our scholars and parents about education, social mobility and potential careers for young people. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, you can get in touch with me or get further details here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

 

Volunteers and Friend of GT Scholars – Volunteer this summer!

Volunteers and Friend of GT Scholars – Volunteer this summer!

Volunteers

Top of the morning to you on this awesome Friday! Hope you are looking forward to the official start of summer this weekend! This week’s newsletter includes some great volunteer opportunities you can get involved in this summer. Curious to find out more? Read on for more details!

Invite us to Speak!
As you know, we are all about creating more opportunities for young people, especially those from low-income backgrounds, to succeed in school and beyond. We would love to share more about what we do with people so that we can increase our reach and help even more young people in need! If you know of any forums or speaking engagements you think we could be a part of to make this happen, then please get in touch with me to chat further.

Did you know!
Foster Care Fortnight, the Fostering Network’s annual campaign to bring awareness to the way foster care transforms lives, took place last week. One of the things highlighted is the large number of young people living in care who struggle with educational attainment and reaching their aspirations. One of the ways you can help to spread awareness about young people living in care is to write a blog post for our website. A blog post is a great way for you to share your thoughts with our scholars and parents, not only about young people living in care, but also on education, social mobility, and careers. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, you can get in touch with me or find out more here.

Follow us on social media!
We would love for you to follow us on any of our social media platforms so that you can like, share and comment on our posts and also share other posts you think would make for an interesting blog post! Join the conversation on our Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram pages.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

How To Manage Your Time As A Volunteer Tutor Or Mentor

How To Manage Your Time As A Volunteer Tutor Or Mentor

Volunteers What's new?

In anything you do, time management is very important. Practising good time management will help you to balance various tasks and make sure that you are able to assign a good amount of time to complete each task well. An inability to allocate your time accordingly always leaves room for things to not work out the way you wanted.

As a volunteer tutor or mentor, you will also be balancing various tasks which will need to be completed properly to make sure that your scholar gets the most out of their sessions. Here’s a few ways for you to manage your time effectively as a volunteer tutor or mentor.

Plan ahead
One of the best ways to manage your time as a volunteer tutor/ mentor is to create a schedule in advance. This can be a day-to-day schedule or a schedule for each session. Once you have an idea of your tasks for each day or session, it is easier for you to designate a specific amount of time to particular tasks in order to prioritise those tasks accordingly. If you are studying or working as well, this is definitely something worth considering as it helps to create a sustainable balance between your study or work demands and your volunteer tutor or mentor demands. Creating a schedule that has designated time for each task helps you to be more efficient all round.

Avoid wasted time
Time waits for no man. This well-known proverb makes it clear that time will never adjust itself for you, so you have to adjust yourself to the time you have been given. One of the worst things to do is waste your own time as it is something you cannot get back. To avoid wasting time, it is good to factor in an element of flexibility in your schedule. Sessions may not always happen at the designated times – this is unfortunate, but change is a part of life and something may come up on your scholar’s end or there may be unforeseen circumstances on your end. You can plan for the possibility of this by having an ‘in the event of’ schedule, which you can then work with. This will ensure that you make the most out of the time you have been given.

Communicate with your scholar
It’s bad enough when you unintentionally waste your own time, but even worse when someone else does it. To avoid the frustration that may come with repeated cancellations or constant rescheduling of your volunteer tutor or mentor sessions, maintain an open dialogue with your scholar and their parent in order to provide sufficient time that allows both you and them to be able to adjust your schedules accordingly. This also helps to prevent any tensions that may arise over any inconsistencies.

Respect your time and your scholar’s time
In undertaking your role as a volunteer tutor or mentor, there will be situations in which your scholar will not be able to attend a session you have already agreed to. You should definitely be understanding of this and seek to accommodate their situation. However, when there is a continuous pattern of not committing to the sessions, then you must be able to communicate your concerns and set some rules. These should be in place from the start, but reinforcing them is always helpful in order to respect your time. The same can be said should you feel you are not able to make a session or if you have to cancel at the last minute. Set rules for yourself to make sure that you respect their time.

Maximise on your time
The time you are given for your sessions is not infinite, so it is important to maximise on it. You can do this by finding ways to make the most out of your sessions that don’t feel time consuming and repetitive. The use of your time can seem wasted or not fully utilised when there is no change in how your sessions take place. This can be experienced by your scholar too. Keep sessions as enlightening and productive as possible, but they must not feel like detention or punishment for you both. Make the sessions enjoyable and easy to do – this will ensure that your scholar is able to make the most out of it which will allow you to make the most out of it as well.

Prepare content for each session
Rather than opening a book and picking up where you left, prepare the content for your sessions in advance. You can use textbooks for references and practical examples, but also cater for your scholar and make the sessions more than just opening a book to a certain page and hoping for the best. In planning ahead, you are able to get through content that you have already broken down and gone over much quicker and easier with your scholar. You will actually be able to cover more topics when you are better prepared and as you can also ask your scholar to also read in advance. In that way, you are both on the same page and you can progress more smoothly through your sessions.

Know what works best
In as much as you are catering to the needs of your scholar, you must also be aware of what works best for your time as a volunteer tutor mentor and what doesn’t. Some days work better than others, and certain times work better than others depending on your schedule. Where you are not able to work with a particular time that clashes with important events or deadlines, let it be known to your scholar and their parents so that you can find a more suitable time for your sessions. Do not agree to times you cannot accommodate and do not agree to be a volunteer tutor or mentor if your schedule does not permit it. The good thing with GT Scholars is that you can always apply when you are ready to commit and our applications are always readily available on our website for you to have a read over and see where you would best fit in.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

Volunteers and Friends of GT Scholars – New opportunities to look out for!

Volunteers and Friends of GT Scholars – New opportunities to look out for!

Friends of GT Scholars Volunteers

We hope your week has been a fantastic one! We are definitely excited to hear the news that Oxford University is taking progressive steps to widen access to disadvantaged students and we hope to see more impactful changes like this take place across the education sector! We’d love to hear your thoughts on this! We also have some exciting news to share on what’s been happening here at GT Scholars – read on to find out more!

 

Coding Workshop Facilitators needed
We’re looking for workshop facilitators with a background in coding and computer science to run our coding workshops coming up this year. Our coding workshops help young people to learn new skills for a 21st-century career and we are looking forward to helping even more young people this year. So if you know the difference between C, C# and C++ then get in touch with me. If you know a colleague or friend that would be interested, they can get in touch with us through our contact page.

We’re looking for another School Partnership Manager
As part of our goal to reach every borough in London (yes all 33 of them!) we are looking for another school partnership manager to join our team. The school partnership manager will be responsible for delivering presentations to schools across London and meeting with school leaders and parents to discuss and pitch our programmes. If you have excellent presentation skills and some experience working in the education sector, you can send us an email with your CV. Want to find out more about the role? You can read this.

Event Volunteers Needed
We ran our first workshop of the term, the GT Scholars Maths Marathon, last week and it went really well! We would like to extend a big thank you to the workshop facilitators and event volunteers who helped make the event a success! If you would like to be a part of our event volunteer team, feel free to get in touch with me.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.