An experienced and capable educator is required for a short-term home-school assignment, primarily working with an 8-year-old boy. The role calls for a Tutor with demonstrable experience teaching across the full primary curriculum, and an infectious enthusiasm for learning that will inspire the boy to become more curious and engaged with the world around him.
The role is based in Mexico and is initially either a three-month starting in January 2020 or a 4½ month assignment starting in mid-November 2019. It will potentially be renewable on an annual basis by mutual agreement, for several years.
The student is currently 7½ . He is a normal little boy – he enjoys computer games and boisterous sports. He is popular at school and has a happy home life in a small town in western Canada. Academically, he is hovering around the average mark. His parents believe him to be a little behind his peers and he certainly seems not yet to have found any particular enthusiasm for school and learning. At the moment, in terms of effort at least, he is drifting along in his classes. He is not incapable by any means, but has yet to show enough interest in his lessons to apply himself fully and show what he can achieve. It is anticipated that one on one tuition will help give him a boost during his primary education.
The student’s language and math skills are accelerating quickly, but at present, he is struggling a bit. Until recently, it appeared he may be dyslexic, since he was writing some of his letters and numbers backwards, but this trait seems to be correcting itself quickly. He will need attention on reading, writing and math if he is to catch up to grade level.
The student’s current school is a typical small-town school in that it delivers the curriculum through formulaic lessons and mechanical teaching – there is little time available to cater to the needs of individual students. It is inadequate for his needs, having failed to inspire in him a love of learning or supported him in light of his SEN tendencies. His mother can see that he is performing below the average ability of his peers, but this seems not to be noticed by the school itself.
The student comes from a warm and kind family. They are realistic about his academic prospects and are not pushy. His mother and step-father want him to achieve as much as he can whilst remaining a happy, balanced individual. They are a very sports-oriented family, and love exploring the outdoors and taking advantage of all that their hometown has to offer. They are also keen kite-surfers, and use their winters in Mexico to indulge in this form of water sport. The student is also sporty, but more in the sense of enjoying sports while he is in the moment – it could not be said that sporting activities form the basis of his passion.
The student does not warm to everyone, and it will take a special kind of Tutor to really bond with him and help motivate him to engage with his studies. For the right Tutor, however, he will be a delight to work with and the role will be one of great adventure and discovery.
This role calls for a skilled, energetic and adventurous Tutor who can ignite a passion to learn in a primary school aged student. They must be a qualified teacher and have had a good academic career themselves, including a good degree. They should have worked in a school for at least 4-5 years in order to have the experience necessary to create relevant, inspiring projects and lessons for the student. They should have first-hand knowledge of the Canadian curriculum, which they can use as their reference point for planning lessons. Since this role has the potential to renew on an annual basis, the Tutor must be able to prepare the curriculum with reference to the appropriate grades as the student progresses through his school career.
The Tutor should be able to build strong working relationships with the student’s teachers in Canada. They should work with the school to ensure that their lesson plans cover all of the material that the student will miss while in Mexico. There may also be the opportunity to work collaboratively on certain projects while the student is away from Canada, perhaps sharing some of his experience with the class in Canada via video link or YouTube presentations. The family are keen for him to preserve his friendships while they are away and this may also be a mechanism through which he and his friends can maintain meaningful contact.
The Tutor, working with the support of Tutors International where necessary, will be responsible for preparing and delivering the full curriculum during the student’s time in Mexico. They will need to plan their lessons, supplies and resources carefully and not seek to involve the student’s parents in this process. That is not to say that their ideas and suggestions should be ignored, but rather that the Tutor should have the skills to incorporate any suggestions into their lesson plans without the need to rely on the student’s family for ideas in the first place.
The curriculum should be a mix of project-based learning interwoven with traditional formal schooling to ensure that the student works at least at the same level as his peers. The tutoring should seek to provide the student with solid foundations for his academic life on his return to Canada whilst also remaining fun, inspiring and accessible. It should be structured, organised, and follow a timetable as much as possible. The Tutor must plan their time and lessons carefully, and have a programme of study written up in advance and available for viewing by Tutors International and the student’s family. They must be highly organised and efficient, an excellent record keeper and communicator.
Technology should certainly be used during tutoring, and at the age of 8, the student should be given the opportunity to fly drones and start basic coding, among other things. He should certainly have full use of an iPad or equivalent, using a stylus to help master his handwriting before progressing to touch typing over the next few years. The pad could be used as a springboard into tasks such as creative writing and illustration.
The project-based learning element of this assignment could take a variety of forms. The student’s mother has suggested that since her son enjoys fishing, perhaps he and the Tutor could explore the varieties of fish in the Mexican bay before seeing if they can catch one, dissect it and then cook another for dinner. This is just one example, and the Tutor should explore other possibilities for learning away from the classroom environment.
This role also has elements of PA work involved. The student’s parents would like the Tutor to be available to them for various non-chore tasks – things like running occasional errands, helping solve logistical problems and basically helping the family to operate smoothly. It would be helpful if the Tutor had a good grasp of Spanish, both in terms of making their life in Mexico easier and also in sharing this skill with the family - both the student’s mother and step-father may wish to learn at least some of the basics to help themselves communicate better while away. The primary focus of this role, however, will always be the education of the student.
The Tutor should be interesting and engaging, able to spark the boy’s curiosity about the world around him. Given the student’s dyslexic traits, it would be advantageous if the Tutor had experience working with Special Educational Needs.
The Tutor is expected to work with the student during the middle portion of the day. His parents anticipate that he will be with them for the morning and evening period, with lessons/contact time taking place from late morning, over lunchtime and the early afternoon. It is likely that the Tutor will be required to work 4-5 hours contact time each day with preparation time to be in addition.
The days should normally follow a structured timetable which includes regular breaks, opportunities for sport, music and other extracurricular activities. There may be occasions when flexible working hours are required, for example, to fit in with the family’s travel plans or to take advantage of a time-specific event for some of the Project Based Learning.
The Tutor is entitled to two consecutive days off per week which will likely be Saturday and Sunday, although the Tutor may need to be flexible in this regard as there may be the odd occasion when the Tutor is required to work over their weekend. In these cases, the Client will try to give the Tutor at least a week’s notice of when their ‘weekend’ break will be. Untaken weekend days that have accrued will also be compensated by a pro-rated payment in lieu.
If the ideal Tutor is available for the longer of the two potential periods, he or she will be entitled to time off spanning the Christmas and New Year holidays and to flights home for this break. This 2-week break will come from their accrued paid vacation entitlement of 17 working days.
If the shorter of the two periods is the one that prevails, there will be no vacation allowance. However, the Tutor will be entitled to a minimum of 12 days’ salary in lieu of untaken holiday, for the most part taken after the Tutor leaves Mexico.
The Client will provide accommodation in Mexico, possibly in the form of a house shared with other staff members, or possibly in the form of an RV (recreational vehicle). It is anticipated that the RV will also be used as the school room, so the Tutor must keep the area clean and tidy, with all resources well stocked and suitable displays up to help inspire learning. The RV is currently located in Canada, and it is possible that should it be required in Mexico, transporting the vehicle through the US may become part of the job of the Tutor. The right Tutor for this role would embrace this extra requirement as an opportunity for adventure rather than a chore. The Client will cover any travel expenses associated with this role, as well as meals and food during any periods of travel.
In Mexico, a bike will be provided for the Tutor for reasonable local use, not limited to work-related journeys. The Client will be able to loan their vehicle from time to time and are considering buying a moped or small motorbike for the Tutor. There is reasonable access to public transport for any journeys further afield.
Meals occurring during tutoring time will be covered by the Client if the Tutor eats with the family. Otherwise all meals are the Tutor’s responsibility and expense.
The Tutor must be fit and healthy, a non-smoker, without visible piercings or tattoos.
The Tutor must ensure that he or she has the requisite travel and health insurance, has received the required vaccinations, and has the necessary visas.
The Tutor should be comfortable working with a team of household staff which includes the family security staff.
Start: November 2019 or January 2020
Duration: 3 or 4.5 months to start, subject to annual extension
Hours: Full time
Salary: $135,000 USD per annum
Vacation: 45 days per annum
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