By Luke Scrutton
It’s a tale heard all too often – talented children can often find themselves unmotivated to succeed in school. “Potential” is a word that gets uttered often in education, but realising a child’s true potential can be a challenging task. However, it is a task that our tutors revel in. All of our tutors have their personal successes in encouraging and motivating children to achieve and most of Genie’s tutors will tell you that this is one of the most rewarding things about teaching. Alongside the hard work of our tutors, we at Genie Tutors find the key to fostering enthusiasm in learning can be found in our bespoke approach to tutoring. This blog will talk about a few of the principles that allow us to get children to enjoy their schoolwork.
At Genie Tutors, one of the ways we get children to love learning is by emphasising the power of learning in small groups. When children are in small groups, we find they are more likely to bounce ideas off each other, compete with each other, interact with each other and support each other. This can make learning more enjoyable and productive than it may otherwise be in a large classroom or in a one to one situation. By sitting across the table from their tutor in an informal setting, children can’t help but share the enthusiasm of our tutors when they are teaching, and in turn the tutors can easily see what makes each individual child excited. This means that a personal learning experience, where tutors can give special attention to individuals if it is needed, is created that can’t be offered in a 30-person classroom.
We also try to create a culture where we reward the hard work that our children put in to their education. Rewards can include gifts of stationary and books that reward the hard work that goes into making progress. We try not to use them as a bargaining tool (we aren’t training puppies!), but use rewards to foster a genuine appreciation of the effort that a child makes. It’s similar to putting a child’s work on the fridge, in that rewarding a special effort gives children a reminder that their efforts are valued by the people who care about them.
Rewarding a child’s efforts encourages them to see the joy in working hard.
Alongside the rewards system, we also make sure that regular feedback is given to both children and parents alike. When a child is told often about how they are progressing, it will enthuse them to try and learn even more. By also talking to parents every week, we are able to give personal and regular feedback about what teaching a child has received, allowing parents to also take an active role in a child’s education. This gives a parent the opportunity to understand how we develop children and lets parents to praise children for the hard work they do. When a parent praises their child’s hard work, it reinforces the importance of education and encourages them to see the value in learning.
Finally, we find that the Genie Tutors centres themselves provide an environment where learning can be enjoyable. Sitting in a fresh space, outside of the traditional confines of a classroom and in small groups, talking about the work they are doing can be very refreshing. Providing an environment in which children can come and have short bursts of intensive learning, where they know they’ll make important progress is vital to our approach. Often children may see their attention drift in a big classroom that they sit in for several hours a week, so visiting our centres can be a stimulating change of pace for many children.
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