We firmly believe tutoring should be available to all pupils from all backgrounds. As we’ve been in this industry for as long as we can remember, we’ve had first-hand experience in observing the impact of tutoring on pupils and their education.
In November 2020, we got to meet Jacob Kelly and Tutor The Nation, which have quickly pioneered an amazing tutoring volunteering charity. We’re big fans of what they’re advocating for, and we discussed this in plenty of detail at our first tutoring industry gathering - The Crunch. Jacob kindly joined our panel, and ever since then, we looked for ways of helping him, his team at Tutor The Nation and nonetheless, pupils in need of tutoring.
Therefore, we’re using our platform to raise awareness about the importance of tutoring and the beauty of volunteering as a tutor. Let’s find out more about it!
The Act of Volunteering
Volunteering is the selfless act of showing your gratitude for a cause you believe in or simply gaining knowledge and experience in a certain field. Regardless, volunteering provides incredible opportunities for both parties to come together, help each other and grow, and here are a few:
Most of the time when you volunteer, the work you do is incredibly rewarding - it inspires you to act and motivates you to speak about it. The more you speak about it, the more you inspire others to take action and do the same.
Making a Difference
The real change happens when you offer your help and you can see how this has impacted the surrounding community. Your volunteering act might be small, but for individuals that benefit from it it’s quite big. A little help can make a difference.
There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing how your actions can change someone’s perspective, knowledge or life; volunteering often does that, and it is truly beautiful.
The best way of gaining new skills and knowledge is through volunteering, as it is a perfect activity for you to learn and grow, then apply all the knowledge to real-life situations. Many companies, small businesses and especially charities offer volunteering opportunities that teach you invaluable skills.
The more people you know, the more connected you become with particular industries and individuals that, one day, might actually return the favour you did them by volunteering into a meaningful opportunity.
Volunteering massively takes you out of your comfort zone and this is thought to accelerate the way you grow and turn into a more confident person.
Why Volunteer as a Tutor
Before the pandemic, students from disadvantaged backgrounds were already eighteen months behind their peers by the time they took their GCSEs (Education Policy Institute, 2020). Whilst the majority of research featuring the effects of COVID on education is yet to come, we can be fairly certain that there is still work that needs to be done. The lack of in-person teaching has had a considerable impact on the learning journeys of young people.
One way to combat this impact is through the provision of tutoring to help young people not just to catch up academically, but also to feel more confident about learning. Research conducted during the pandemic finds that individual tutoring had significant benefits for disadvantaged students, both in terms of academic attainment and wellbeing (Carlana and La Ferrara, 2021).
It seems clear, then, that disadvantaged students need help to catch up and, furthermore, that tutoring might just be the helping hand that they need. From this idea, Tutor The Nation was born.
How Can You Volunteer
Whether it is making a good deed or trying to learn new skills, there are many places where you can do that and one of them is none other than Tutor The Nation. They started as a charity in November 2020 to help disadvantaged children with their studies from the aftermath of the pandemic.
The team at Tutor The Nation truly believes in making education fairer by pairing disadvantaged pupils from state schools across the United Kingdom with undergraduates and experienced tutors for free, online one-to-one tutoring sessions.
Since their founding in 2020, they have worked with hundreds of university students and experienced tutors to provide lessons to pupils at schools across the UK. Their lessons run online using Bramble and are supported by us - TutorCruncher.
Each volunteer is given comprehensive tutoring and safeguarding training by their experienced team, which encourage tutors to focus not just on increasing exam performance but also on helping pupils to feel more confident and excited about learning. It’s just as important for TTN that a pupil comes back from their session feeling energised about and interested in chemistry as it is them performing better in their next exam.
Benefits for Pupils
The benefits of tutoring for pupils are numerous, and the schools TTN works with always report new ways in which their students are finding value in tutoring sessions.
Some of the benefits TTN pride themselves with are those which specifically impact the students from disadvantaged backgrounds. As many of their tutors are either current university students or recent graduates, they act as brilliant role models.
Additionally, by pairing pupils with tutors from right across the United Kingdom, they are able to learn about life outside of their own areas, which increases their cultural awareness.
Benefits for Tutors
It’s important to stress that volunteering with Tutor The Nation doesn’t just bring benefits for the pupil you are matched with - it can be a really positive and rewarding experience for tutors too.
First of all, when you start with TTN they will cover all of the costs associated with tutor safeguarding training and DBS check - all of which may help you to secure paid tutoring work in the future.
Secondly, working with pupils through Tutor The Nation gives you the chance to experience tutoring young people from a range of different backgrounds. You’ll be encouraged to challenge and develop your own tutoring approach which will make you a more confident and adaptable tutor in the long run.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you are giving a young person an opportunity that they would not otherwise be able to receive. In each session, you are helping your student take another step closer towards their goals. What could be more beneficial than that?
Hear From Current Tutors
“I'm in my second year tutoring with TTN and I've worked with two year 13 students, helping them to meet their A level targets in maths. I've really enjoyed the experience - seeing the students learn and improve over the course of the year has been highly rewarding, and has enabled me to develop my own teaching skills. I meet once a week with my students to go through topics they've found difficult in class, helping them to complete questions and gain confidence. I'd recommend TTN to anyone who enjoys explaining their subject. The students are great and always keen to learn more, and the TTN training was excellent.”
“What I’ve found most enjoyable about volunteering with TTN is the ability to plan my sessions to the needs of the student, to devote sessions to things as simple as quote analysis, and to create resources that can be uploaded for the student to see, which I think in turn helps the student. They’re able to work within a comfortable environment that facilitates an exchange of ideas, they can apply their skills and develop confidence in the skills they already have but need a forum to prove to themselves that they have.”
Now that you heard some experiences of TTN’s volunteers, take a look at what pupils think of their tutoring sessions:
“I’ve really enjoyed my sessions and they’ve helped me a lot! The sessions have really helped with my confidence and have genuinely made me enjoy the subject more (to the point where I have chosen it to study at university!)"
“My tutor is fantastic and explains things so well. I have tried to learn some of these topics over and over without any success but she has helped me to finally understand them. I feel so relieved to be getting somewhere with maths now.”
Conclusion and Getting Involved
All in a nutshell, there has never been a better time to become a volunteer tutor! The pandemic has demonstrated the education gap that has been growing in the United Kingdom for decades, and, by volunteering one hour a week, you can help Tutor The Nation address the problem. Not only do you get to help a student to feel more confident about their subject, but you can also improve your own tutoring skills at the same time.
If you’re interested in volunteering, visit tutorthenation.org/volunteer. Signing up only takes a few minutes and their friendly team are available to guide you through each stage of the onboarding process. Don’t forget to mention our name when you sign up!
Spread the Word
If you aren't personally eligible to volunteer or just don't have time to help out, please share Tutor The Nation’s mission with your community, through this pre-written social media post with pictures attached.
Pre-written social media post:
"Join us in giving back!🙌 We are supporting Tutor The Nation, a charity aimed to tackle the need for tutoring experienced by many UK students🧑🎓
If you are an undergraduate or graduate looking to get involved with a good cause, you can volunteer to be a tutor online, 1 or 2 hours per week👩🏫
This opportunity will not only help many children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK, but could also be a great opportunity for you to secure paid tutoring work in the future and build a personal and unique tutoring approach📚
To get involved visit tutorthenation.org/volunteer Mention TutorCruncher when you complete the form.*
Together, we can tackle the need for tutoring in disadvantaged areas across the UK🤝
"Join us in giving back!🙌 We are supporting Tutor The Nation, a charity tackling learning loss caused by school closures. Volunteer to tutor for just two hours a week and help underprivileged children around the UK👩🏫
To find out more visit: tutorthenation.org/volunteer Mention TutorCruncher when you complete the sign-up form.*
Together, we can tackle the need for tutoring in disadvantaged areas across the UK🤝