I remember the exact moment when Tavistock Tutors rang up and offered me the job in Shanghai- I was slightly nervous and apprehensive at first, but the moment I arrived, I knew that I’d made the right decision.
I was living out with a family in the centre of the city and my role was basically to give the parents an honest appraisal of their two children’s ability and the likelihood of them gaining entrance to a British Private School.
I had had a lot of experience in teaching entrance up to this point, but this was a unique opportunity for me, which made it a very rewarding professional experience: though I relish such challenges. I lived out there for a month, first assessing their English and other basic academic skills, working through mock exams and past paper materials: once I had got a good picture of them as learning individuals, I was able to sit down with the parents, have an honest chat and then draw up a plan of action to get them where they needed to be.
We worked hard and for long hours, four days a week (I was given the rest off) and eventually we got to a point where I felt confident that they would ace the entrance process at their chosen schools.
Indeed, they went on to receive offers from all six to which they collectively applied. Aside from the obviously amazing cultural experience (which, in a city like Shanghai, goes without saying), it was a great pleasure to have parents who were so involved in their children’s learning and academic success: they welcomed me into the family and afforded me the freedom to really work on all areas of education with their two boys. I’d definitely do it again!
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