The family of a sporty, charismatic, and fun-loving young man, aged 14, seek the dedicated assistance of an exceptional Tutor with a breadth of subject knowledge (including French) and expertise in Specific Language Impairment. The role, commencing mid-August and potentially lasting for several years, may involve some travel, but will predominantly take place on the east coast of the USA.
Currently in the 8th Grade, the student is the youngest of three. He is kind-hearted, sociable, boasts a great sense of humor and is naturally talkative. With his elder siblings gone, he is unaccustomed to being the sole focus of attention. He’s a dependable friend, has a taste for adventure and particularly enjoys longboarding. He loves the speed associated with this pastime; coupled with his incredible balance, this makes him a superb rider. He also excels at soccer, having picked up and mastered the game quickly. Although he does not spend much time watching sports, he’s also interested in basketball, tennis, skiing, jet-skiing, snorkeling, sea-bobbing and e-Foiling. He is attracted to all sports that allow him to be outdoors with friends and is currently trying his hand at golf. He readily accepts the family rules to keep himself safe while undertaking these pursuits, for example, wearing a helmet when permitted to longboard.
Previous hobbies have included chess; this has more recently been replaced with poker and backgammon. He plays percussion as well as the piano. Politics and social media are also on his radar. Like most people, he particularly enjoys activities and subjects that he is good at and tends to avoid those things that are more challenging! His patience is further tested when things appear boring or less achievable.
Academically, the student is highly numerate and enjoys identifying solutions for others in everyday life. Reading and writing have always posed a problem. He finds it challenging to access and process written information or transfer his own thoughts from mind to paper. Such difficulties were identified early in his school career when he clearly struggled to pick up English naturally and required speech therapy in the first years. He was diagnosed as having a Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in 3rd Grade and has since received a great deal of support to develop his language skills at a more normal rate. Despite excellent cognitive ability, he often needs the written word read and explained to him to better digest it. He finds it difficult to reuse what he has learned in new contexts, write about information or write creatively. Reading and writing activities highlight problems in comprehension and linking new material with existing skills, thus rendering many tasks and homework exercises monotonous or stressful. Bearing in mind that these language issues span the subject spectrum and are not confined to English, this impacts his whole academic development.
His parents and his teachers recognize the student’s patience and conscientiousness when actively seeking help to better understand inaccessible written material. Well-structured schooling and tutoring have so far assisted him in working hard to reach his goals. His general morale and self-belief have not yet been affected. To date, he has been enrolled in the standard US educational system, following a traditional path of study, albeit heavily supported by homework buddies and tutors. The student is bright and often thinks outside the box. He has a unique take on situations and often occupies himself with experimental games and tasks, such as spinning cups or solving practical problems that even some adults find taxing.
The student responds most positively to upbeat, fair teachers. He cannot stand two-faced individuals and would always prefer friendly, honest conversations regarding any issues or problems. Negative experiences with some teachers have led him to appreciate fun, open-minded leaders all the more. His best teacher managed to engage him in English, despite the challenges, by incorporating personal life experiences into his lessons. Relatable anecdotes and the right balance of humor made his classes more interesting.
The student has had tutors before. The best of these had impeccable academic track records themselves and an uncanny ability to explain the most complicated things in a way that he can understand. Beyond the academic tutoring, they were personable, unpretentious and fun. The Tutor to follow in their footsteps would ideally come from a similar background and be a fantastic role-model to this young man. He needs to feel at ease, valued and supported by his Tutor, preferably sharing interests and wit. In his own words, the tutor should be an “academic weapon.”
The fresh, entertaining approach that his previous tutors brought was successful in discovering the key to unlock the student’s struggles in accessing information, learning and retention. For him to achieve the best possible results during high school, his parents seek a Tutor who will tailor resources and their delivery to address his specific learning needs and language barriers. High on the agenda, his parents would like their son to attend a respectable college, possibly to pursue his interest in business, along with becoming forever more willing to learn independently and take responsibility for his own education. They would like him to become increasingly more dynamic and able to apply his knowledge with confidence, in a timelier fashion. They hope that his comprehension skills and ability to analyze information for himself will become second nature, in addition to writing extended essays and using a range of literary devices.
The ideal Tutor will assist the student in an after-school capacity to help him manage his learning by supplementing his school teaching, creating bespoke material, and using mechanisms to encourage easier understanding. The student is highly able and has the potential to flourish under the right direction and influence. His parents would also like the Tutor to advance his public speaking skills, foster a clear, confident voice, and evaluate sources to develop cogent arguments. Listening skills are fundamental and could be taught in line with an understanding of political arguments, focusing on informed, productive and respectful discussions. While the family do not necessarily favor a Tutor following a particular political ethos, they do expect their own beliefs and lifestyle to be respected.
Privacy and discretion are in fact fundamental values of the household and the Tutor will adhere to any safety protocols regarding the student’s wellbeing. Following the transition of education to predominantly remote resources during the pandemic, the family’s strict screen time policy has been eroded. A sensible Tutor will inspire imaginative, interactive learning tools and engage technology in a thoughtful manner, always to add value to lessons, research, and projects. They will be entrusted with converting the tutoring space in the main house into an engaging and well-resourced learning environment.
Arriving home from school ready to embark on further study requires encouragement and motivation. The ideal scenario would celebrate stress-free extra-curricular activity, accessible material, and a permanent shift in learning obstacles. The Tutor is also encouraged to advocate for participation in community-based service and will essentially serve as an inspirational mentor to the student. An educator who could potentially commit until the end of 12th Grade would be privileged in coaching the student throughout the rest of his high school years, including helping with applications for summer and college programs. Solid experience in teaching the American curriculum is paramount, as is a deep appreciation and understanding of the implications of SLIs. The Tutor will be innovative in helping to break down and confront any difficulties and ultimately progress alongside or beyond his peers. His language impairment should in no way hold him back or have a detrimental effect on his studies or self-esteem.
Given that this is largely an afterschool role, the Tutor will work in the evenings for around 20 hours per week, with extensive preparation in addition. In the past, the general tuition routine covered Monday-Thursday, with Friday and Saturday as two designated days off per week. Sunday would be spent working together to consolidate past work and learning goals, before preparing for the week ahead. However, tutoring on Saturdays and public holidays is often required, particularly during exam time and when important assignments are due.
The Tutor will be entitled to a minimum of 9 weeks holiday (45 working days) per year, to be taken during school holidays and at times agreed upon with the family. The Tutor will be flexible with respect to any changes in schedule, be they travel-related or otherwise and will adapt accordingly. The Client will strive to give up to two weeks’ notice of any planned alterations.
The Client will provide a private, furnished residence for the Tutor in a carriage house within their grounds. This means no guests will be allowed on the property. They will provide a car and ensure that the Tutor stays in private accommodation when travelling. All expenses will be covered by the Client except for the Tutor’s personal phone bill and fuel.
The Tutor will ideally join the family mid-August 2021 when the student returns from summer camp, to start to prepare for the academic year ahead. He also has a sporting schedule to contend with, and therefore a Tutor with similar athletic tendencies would be highly valued, as would a Tutor with the ability to teach French in line with the school curriculum. The Tutor must also be comfortable around animals as the family have a number of pets.
The Tutor must be a fit and healthy non-smoker – active and energetic with a love for the outdoors; the kind of person who always makes the most of their environment to enhance teaching and learning opportunities.
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