Katelyn - Tutor
I came across Explore by chance, having a coffee in the cafe after shopping at Sainsburys I spotted the centre and popped in to see what it was about. The timing was perfect as I had a baby that had just turned one and was looking for a part time job to fit around my home life. Explore fit the bill perfectly as I was keen to be Mum first and foremost and work would come second to that. Explore, being a child orientated centre understood this perfectly and the restrictions that having a child and relying on limited childcare has never been an issue. Explore has always been really flexible for me. I had my second son last year and Explore was really supportive throughout my pregnancy and maternity leave and made coming back to work this year a very easy experience! A typical day for me involves being Mummy all day, doing the school run, baby classes, then I’ll go to work mid afternoon leaving the children with their Grandmother for an hour or so before my husband comes home from work. I’m home before they go to bed.
Prior to having my first son I had been at university and planning to go on to complete the PGDE in primary education so I had a background of working with children in various capacities – working in pre-school within private nurseries, volunteering with the brownies and in local primary schools. Tutoring was an exciting new challenge for me. Working with the children wasn’t daunting but knowing how to break down maths problems and teach them was completely new. I was fortunate to join a great team of tutors who were very welcoming and helpful in the initial stages when I was finding my feet within the job. The other tutors are a great support network and I would advise any new tutor not to worry that you are asking too many questions/ being a pest as everyone has been in your shoes and knows how it feels to be new! I definitely learned loads from my colleagues. Explore, also has a great ethos of allowing plenty of time for self study, meaning you get to know the programmes you are teaching and work on any areas you need to, before you start tutoring. Even now I do this to brush up on various things. There are regular training sessions with the whole team when we can share knowledge and ideas.
I’ve loved my time at Explore! I’ve made some great friends in fellow tutors. It’s been fantastic to meet children and families from all different walks of life. Many of whom have been there as long as me, if not longer, which is lovely as it allows you to form strong bonds with the children and see them grow over the years. A really great part of the job is to watch the children’s progress. I particularly love when a child becomes really confident at something they had previously found tricky – it makes you feel like you’ve done an amazing job and you feel a really nice sense of pride both in the child and in yourself for helping them! I find that I usually go home from work on a bit of a high, not sure whether it’s the vibrant atmosphere in the centre, the enjoyable interaction with children and colleagues or a mix of both but it’s a lovely feeling! I really believe in everything that Explore stands for and believe that it really works. So much so that my oldest son now attends Explore as a member. So far he is loving it and I can absolutely understand why!