Welcome to Rachael Willcox Tutoring’s very first blog! Over time, we will be publishing useful articles, top tips and personal insights. There will also be guest blogs from our resident tutors, but for now I thought I’d tell you a little more about the birth of Rachael Willcox Tutoring. Enjoy!
I started teaching way back in 2009. Fresh out of university I took on a lovely Year 5 class in a small village school. In that class were two pupils who had really struggled. One was a selective mute, and the other had been expelled from previous schools and required 1:1 support for his behavioural and learning needs. Throughout my first year, I found I gravitated to finding new ways to support these pupils, in the hope that they may be able to access the learning in my classroom more easily.
The sense of pride I felt when my little girl was able to read in the final class assembly of the year, and then have the courage to compete in a national athletics competition (she was a talented athlete but had never competed as she lacked confidence and would meltdown) was overwhelming. This feeling, and the wonderful letter from her parents stayed with me throughout my teaching career and I always found myself gravitating towards the pupils who’s needs had, perhaps, been overlooked in previous years.
So, when a change of circumstances meant I needed to work part time, I took the opportunity to explore 1:1 tuition further. I joined a supply agency and supported numerous pupils, particularly those who were falling behind in the run up to SATs. Being able to spend time on a concept the pupil was struggling with, instead of rushing through in order to fit all of the demands of the curriculum was fantastic. I could fully focus on ensuring the pupil in my care understood the concept taught, no matter how long that took and I was free to try varying different approaches to find the one best suited to their needs. The “lightbulb moments” when they finally grasped each concept was wonderful, and their pride at “getting it” was humbling to see.
It was at that moment, I realised my true vocation and Rachael Willcox Tutoring was born. I registered my business and began. My spaces started to fill, and soon I had a waiting list! I had no idea that there were so many pupils struggling with the demands of the primary curriculum and the lack of time teachers have to ensure every child understands each concept. After a while, I decided to expand. There were too many children for me to help alone, so I reached out to other qualified teachers who I knew shared the same vision as myself and built our new website. I was also able to further my passion for music and began teaching the flute (my main instrument, taken through university) and further allow children to foster their creativity and learn the vital skills of music making and appreciation. So here we are. A bustling tuition business and a sense of immeasurable pride at the pupils I am able to help each day.
I hope you have enjoyed reading.
Rachael (Founder of Rachael Willcox Tutoring)