This position centers around two children (boy and girl twins), who have just started 7th grade. Following the restrictions and evolution of Covid-19, their parents have decided to embark on the next academic year with precaution. The twins are both hard-working, sensitive adolescents, currently missing social interaction and in need of guidance throughout this difficult period.
The girl is a bright, dedicated student who works well across the board, despite a relative weakness in mathematics which she strongly dislikes. She shows great promise in both English and art; drawing and design are amongst her hobbies, along with reading. She is currently about halfway through the extensive ‘Nancy Drew Mystery Stories’ series. Her artistic flair led to a self-taught talent in calligraphy and she is also a member of an art club with her brother. She adores cooking and baking in her free time, together with relishing the outdoors; a true nature lover who often enjoys collecting flowers. She also likes to swim and play at the beach.
Her greatest passion is ballet. She attends a professionally-affiliated ballet school, echoing her standard, commitment, athleticism and love for dance. She finds great pleasure in her sport and takes it very seriously, even participating in virtual classes several times a week during her current self-isolation. She describes both of her ballet teachers as offering a fine balance between discipline and fun; she responds well to their teaching methods and kindness. She prefers teachers who are generally easy-going, engage in interesting conversations and are not unnecessarily tough. She appreciates clear explanations and teachers who help her to make sense of things.
Further to being the slightly elder of the two, she is sensitive and protective of her twin brother, encompassing the role of big sister and displaying a mature attitude to adolescence. She is fairly shy and will feel most at ease with a calm, patient and understanding tutor.
Her brother is also sweet and thoughtful and has perhaps found self-quarantine slightly more challenging than his sister, from a social and friendship perspective. At school, his strengths include social studies and English; both children perform well in English, perhaps due to their parents’ studies and backgrounds. The boy likes reading and delights in writing his own video scripts to accompany a longstanding admiration for Thomas the Tank Engine. He posts these entries online and also enjoys making other short films.
In addition to being his least favourite subject by far, maths presents a somewhat inconsistent challenge for the boy. Although he often grasps complex concepts with ease, his familiarity with multiplication tables, for example, is yet to develop satisfactorily.
He enjoys art, science and choir practice. Although not particularly interested in some sports, he does enjoy playing tennis. He is greatly missing his tennis coach at present. The coach's personality and teaching methods have proved to be a great fit. He responds positively to teachers who are playful, easy-going and who boast a good sense of humour. He also favors role-models who openly converse and even joke with him. For instance, he loves learning opportunities with his grandma, who is both entertaining and laid back. He appreciates minimal stress and undue pressure.
Like his sister, he enjoys playing outside, mainly at the swimming pool and beach. He is also shy and reserved when it comes to talking about himself.
This role will be to deliver a full-spectrum Project Based Learning (PBL) home school curriculum that incorporates the children’s parents in its content and delivery. The children’s mother is an accomplished and experienced university English teacher and their father would like to be involved with humanities.
Clearly then, the Tutor will need to be flexible, creative and accommodating, and able to make their online interaction with the children vibrant and interesting to gain the most benefit from their involvement. The Tutor’s main responsibilities are therefore to help develop and maintain a general love of learning in these difficult times, so that this hiatus from regular schooling is turned into an opportunity rather than the interruption it looks like it is shaping up to become. The Tutor will lead the children in developing their wider interests, along with providing structure to keep up with lessons, homework and a functional routine.
Both students demonstrate a need to focus on math skills, most notably in the boy's case. It is essential that the Tutor identifies weaknesses and gaps in knowledge to underpin any underlying learning or retention issues, should they exist. The boy's mathematical development requires refined attention to consolidate and reinforce solid foundations, such as with multiplication facts, perhaps taking a step back to concentrate on more basic or earlier concepts.
The necessity for additional online assistance, born from the restraints of the current pandemic, should ideally lead to reinstatement into the American public education system in the future. Therefore, knowledge of US educational practice and curricula would be highly beneficial, along with experience of managing an online classroom. Screen time may already be deemed excessive by the family, however, the Tutor will responsibly promote sensible habits in relation to device usage, especially from an educational viewpoint.
Both students will continue to learn Spanish and it is also possible that the girl may pick up French in the future. Competence with Spanish, and ideally French as well, is an essential attribute to the role.
The children both want a stress-free, relaxed environment and time to adjust to their new schedules. The Tutor will be mindful in their approach and do their upmost to create a coordinated, yet unperturbed atmosphere. A good sense of humour and the ability to make lessons amusing and memorable would be gratefully received.
The Tutor will be available on a part-time basis for an average of 15 hours of contact time per week, online, with paid preparation time of an additional 10 hours per week.
No vacation time accrues on this contract. As far as possible, a consistent pattern for academic learning and support should be established, whilst the Tutor will also be required to exercise a degree of flexibility in line with other online tuition and activities.
This role will be carried out entirely online, directly to the students’ designated classroom at home. Should Covid restrictions allow for it, some in-person instruction may be introduced and if this is the case the contract will be reviewed in terms of accommodation and travel.
The ideal candidate will have the ability to maximise the short, weekly interaction in demand, offering an engaging, interactive manner of bringing the online classroom to life. They will be well-organised and an exceptional record keeper, in order to track progress and allocate hours to subjects and areas to their fullest potential.
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