My time at Yipiyap has been really amazing, and has been a real eye-opener for me. Having come straight out of a grammar school where everyone is in their own little bubble, I have learnt that education does not come easily to everyone. Being an LSA and having to work with SEN students has shown me that some children find it more difficult to learn than others. Many children have health problems and various home problems that I quickly became aware of. Having learnt the difficulties some children have had to go through has really made me empathetic for them and want to go the extra mile for them in terms of educational support.
Maths has always come as a second nature to me and having the opportunity to help teach such an essential subject was really appealing. Having been taught fairly complex methods in solving maths questions at my own school, when I found that the students I was working with were actually very weak, these techniques quickly proved to be useless; and so my first challenge arose. Learning to think 'outside-of-the-box' for techniques that made learning easier for the weaker students was very essential when it came to effective teaching, and is a skill I am hoping to take away and apply to future situations. Communication skills are really enhanced during your year as a tutor. You learn how to deal with difficult and uncomfortable situations in the real world which, I believe, has made me more confident if I ever have to face them in the future.
Maturity is another trait that developed greatly for me during my year out. Even though I didn't realise it at first, I have noticed other people tell me that they now see me as a more mature and responsible individual as opposed to a sixth former/child. Overall I hope that these improved skills and traits will be advantageous to me when I start university.
Being able to work with children has definitely been the highlight of my experience. Getting to know all the individual students has been very enjoyable. Something great that I have noticed is that the kids really do look up to you as a role model. Being at such a close age makes them feel more comfortable in approaching you and asking those more vulnerable questions they wouldn't necessarily feel comfortable asking their teachers. In cases like this, I think the whole Yipiyap concept has really hit the nail on the head as they are able to provide this extra service that benefits the children in a way teachers cannot. For me, the best thing is seeing my own direct impact on the children. Being able to see even just a smile from a child's face after helping them with an answer they can then go on to confidently explain to the class has been by far the most rewarding feeling.
I cannot explain how grateful I am for this opportunity as it has most definitely been one of the greatest years of my life in terms of personal development. If I had to go back to August 2016, I would definitely choose to do yipiyap tutoring again, without a doubt. An absolutely amazing year. Thank you yipiyap for this experience.
Below are some of the displays that Kimberley has created during her time in school, above and beyond her tutoring responsibilities.