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Volunteer Spotlight – I think that tutoring emphasises the value of the individual
Josh Hood has been a volunteer tutor with us for about a year now, and it was great to hear more about his experience with us as a tutor, and how he has helped his tutee reach her goals and overcome her challenges. It’s inspiring stories like Josh’s that help us celebrate our volunteers and the difference they’ve made in the lives of our scholars. You can read the full interview below.
Tell me a little bit about you and what got you to where you are today
I’m something of a nomad, both physically and spiritually I suppose. As a result, I’ve taken up lots of opportunities to experience different cultures, jobs and philosophies. Even when it might have seemed daunting to do so, I think that we grow when we push our boundaries and open our minds up to new possibilities – never stop learning.
What made you decide to become a volunteer tutor?
I’ve been a teacher in the past and got a great deal of satisfaction seeing students progress. Also, my own schooling experience I think could have benefited from receiving some one-on-one help, so I can clearly see the value in what GT Scholars tries to achieve every academic year.
How did you get started as a volunteer tutor with GT Scholars?
During the first dreaded lockdown of 2020, I discovered the company through LinkedIn and was immediately sold by Temi’s vision and drive. Thereafter, I was paired with a scholar whom I tutored throughout the year.
What did you enjoy most about tutoring your scholar?
My particular scholar showed real enthusiasm and commitment to the course – her reading improved ten-fold, and her predicted grades at school also increased. To witness this progress both academically and in her confidence was a great feeling, and I found this part of this tutoring process most fulfilling.
What goals have you helped your scholar to achieve?
My scholar was keen to improve on her reading in particular, alongside developing an ability to assess prose and poetry in greater detail, with a wider range of vocabulary. She was able to improve on all fronts – a great credit to her aptitude and application.
What challenges did you face while tutoring your scholar?
My scholar had a busy extracurricular schedule! Oftentimes, we would need to reschedule for a time that didn’t clash with other activities, but it was a hurdle we overcame every week!
What part of the volunteering process have you found the most fulfilling?
Building a relationship with both the scholar and her parent was really fulfilling. There was mutual respect and appreciation that we developed for what was trying to be achieved – something that I’ll miss massively!
Why do you think tutoring is valuable to young people?
I think that tutoring emphasises the value of the individual – that scholars who may not have received a great deal of attention are, in fact, deserving of the time and consideration required to help them, whether that be in an academic sense or otherwise.
What do you think is the most important skill to have as a volunteer tutor?
In my experience patience is the biggest virtue when tutoring. To offer structure in your methodology and present material patiently are essential to help scholars in the best way possible
How important has support been in getting you to where you are today?
One of the main reasons I joined GT Scholars was due to a lack of support that I received growing up, and the realisation that I could have realised my potential sooner, should those networks have been in place. I think that structured guidance is integral to helping individuals mature.
What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a tutor or mentor with GT Scholars?
Through volunteering with GT Scholars, I’ve gained a reinforced desire to help others with the limited skills that I have. I’d recommend becoming a volunteer with GT Scholars to everyone that values fairness, caring and understanding. If you have just one spare hour per week and enjoy the idea of helping young scholars to realise their potential, boosting their confidence and improving their self-esteem, then do it!