I like to keep my lessons as fun and informal as possible. One of the reasons a home tutor can have such a great impact is simply the fact that they are not a recognised authority figure like a parent or teacher and can relate to the pupil on a different level. Thanks to my background in stand-up comedy I like to think I can bring any subject, no matter how dry, to life in a way that will engage a pupil for a two hour session.
I like to lead my pupils to discover interpretations of texts or concepts themselves, leading them to these via a series of concentric questions (ie starting broadly and getting more specific.) Whilst I am very enthusiastic about teaching pupils to enjoy and engage fully with their subjects – as this is always the best way to secure top marks – I always do this with ‘scoring points’ in exams in mind. Whenever I provide pupils with a new piece of information or interpretation I encourage them to consider how best to use this as a killer fact or attention grabbing introduction.
The nature of the lesson depends very much on the client’s needs. If I am asked to assist a pupil earlier in the academic year, and so have less time pressure, then I’m happy to let the pupil dictate the content of the lesson based on what they are studying in school and where their difficulties lie. Alternatively, when I have been called in nearer to exams for revision sessions, I tend to favour leading the sessions myself via a series of mindmaps for each topic and then drilling the student regularly and rigorously to make sure they have the knowledge at the end of their fingertips. For students who need help with essay and exam technique I prefer to take a more forensic approach, dismantling their essays sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph to ensure that they are giving focussed, precise and eloquent answers to the questions asked of them.
At all times I ensure that I tailor lessons to the individual pupil’s needs and the approach which best suits their learning needs.
5 years with tutoring agencies in London and some private tuition.
Also have experience running improvised comedy workshops for children (14+), performing Theatre in Education for the West Yorkshire Playhouse on a three month long schools tour and currently volunteer as a reading helper at my local primary school.
3A*s, 6As - GCSE
3 As – A Level
2:1 BA Modern History, Jesus College, Oxford
2:1 BA Acting, Central School of Speech and Drama
Ben has been teaching our son Theo (aged 15) history GCSE in the past year. We did an intensive week in London, and then he came to stay around New Year here in Suffolk. Ben has been an outstanding teacher of history to our son. He has managed to enthuse our rather disinterested 15 year old boy with charm and wit, so he has enjoyed the lessons and he made the learning of history fun. He has an extremely professional working approach, with an eye to the syllabus. He has got the most enormous amount of work out of Theo and Theo's class grades and reports have improved immeasurably.
John and Mary James, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
According to a series of experiments carried out by my friend Sophie – a professor of neuroscience – I have the most infectious laugh of all her subjects, including a variety of humans, rats and bonobo monkeys!