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Thoughts from the corner

July 11, 2012

"thoughts from the corner"

Home tutoring can be a wonderful experience for both tutor and student. I once had the privilege of tutoring an ‘A’ level Sociology student.

She was extremely bright, having achieved 10 A* and A grades in her GCSE examinations Her mother was a lawyer and thought she should enter the legal profession; her father, a medical consultant, thought she should go in medicine. Fortunately, she was just beginning her ‘A’ levels so she had time before jumping on that slippery slope that we call a ‘career path’; o she opted for a choice of four ‘A’ levels, which pleased both her parents.

"distance learning"

Her mother was a lawyer

‘Where is this all going?’ I hear you ask. Enter stage right a home Sociology tutor. The girl had decided she wanted to become a Sociologist! Her choice of ‘A’ levels were merely bargaining chips. She had agreed to her parents’ choice of subjects, on the condition that she receive one to one tutoring from a home Sociology teacher.

Her school sixth form did not offer Sociology as part of the curriculum, so the girl considered that there was ‘more than one way to skin a rabbit’.  When I was told this I had to smile. Many of my previous students had home tuition under sufferance. Often it was because they had failed their exams or they were ‘weak’ at a subject or even that they had failed their entrance examination to a local independent school and were due to re-take in the near future. This student, however, was different.

Indeed she was! From the very first lesson, I realised that here was someone that going to be a very extraordinary person. There is a Chinese proverb:

Ice is produced from water

And yet is colder than water

Xun Zi

The meaning of this is that the pupil surpasses the teacher.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why she stood out from the very first – today, we call it the ‘X Factor’. Whatever that is, she had it. The one to one Sociology tuition that I gave her certainly kept me on my toes and if ever being a home tutor gave me pleasure then this student proved to be the’ icing on the cake’.

She entered politics and today is one of the world’s great ‘movers and shakers’.

"one to one tutoring"

Ice is colder than water

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