Proactive actions foster success

What does it mean to be proactive, and how does this relate to tutoring?

Proactive is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as

Taking action by causing change and not only reacting to change when it happens.’

Reactive is defined as

Reacting to events or situations rather than acting first to change or prevent something.’

So, how does this apply to tutoring?

In the majority of cases, families contact us in responseto a situation occurring with their child/ren and their learning. The student may not be achieving as expected at school in a specific area, or perhaps they have undergone assessment and/or received a diagnosis of a learning difficulty.  Parents react to this situation by sourcing assistance for their child/ren. This is a reactive response to a situation, as defined above.

Once intervention has been sourced and a student is engaged in a program, be that tutoring, educational support at school, or with an interventional therapist, a proactive response has occurred – planning for the future and acting upon that plan ensures change will occur.

Case Study – Student “Sam”

Sam was progressing through the primary school system as expected until Grade 5. Local school and national testing identified Sam was not achieving at the standard expected for spelling and reading comprehension. Sam’s parents reacted to this information and sought further assessment. It was identified that Sam was struggling with reading and spelling unfamiliar words and was not able to apply the strategies necessary to progress. Sam’s parents acted upon this information and enrolled Sam in a tutoring program with Educate Tutoring.

After an intensive intervention program, Sam gained confidence with his spelling and reading, and assessment showed he was now performing at or near age-appropriate level! Sam’s parents decided to be proactive by keeping Sam enrolled in tutoring, in order to ensure he continued to improve and experience success and did not fall behind again. They decided being proactive at this stage of Sam’s schooling was imperative for him with the transition to high school in the coming years.

In today’s society, our responses to most situations tend to be reactive. Using the recent QLD and NSW floods as an example, towns, residents and emergency services were left with little choice but to react to a series of events which were outside their control. As with any natural disaster there are compounding issues, and some of the main criticisms with these events were the lack of preparation and planning. Prior flood experiences, updating infrastructure (such as flood levees), early planning for evacuations, earlier warning systems, addressing climate change may all have allowed for a more proactive response, and may have made some difference to the outcome.  Although this analysis of the flood situation may be simplistic, this is a great example of how proactive responses can be beneficial.

We can relate this to children and their education by looking at past results, making comparisons to the present, talking with the student, the teachers, the school and other relevant parties, looking to the future for any issues which may arise, and then create a strategic plan.

To do this, the following questions may be helpful:

  • “Is my child happy and experiencing success in school?”
  • “Are my child’s academic and learning needs being met?”
  • “How can I help my child progress and succeed into the future?”
  • “Can I foresee a time where my child may need extra support, like the transition to high school?”

This is a great example of being proactive. Being proactive will ensure your child has positive experiences with learning and will ensure they transition through any difficult stages with an invested support system in place! Educate Tutoring and our team of dedicated and professional tutors are here to support your child, and your family, through all stages of their educational and learning journey. (We are not, however, equipped to help you with any major flood events!)

Summer Holiday Program

We at Educate Tutoring would love to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who participated in our Summer Program from December 2021 to January 2022! We had such a great time with our dedicated students. Here are a few insights into wonderful learning outcomes:

Marina* – Maths Tutoring

Marina participated in 4 sessions of Maths tutoring, specifically in measurement. She was introduced to measuring length, distance, perimeter and area of quadrilateral shapes, capacity/volume, weight/mass, time and money. We completed several practical activities related to real world situations and explored the language of measurement. Marina is now able to convert and compare different units of measurement and also explored the relationship between liquids and weight. During this unit, Marina was practising and broadening her skills in mental computation of whole numbers, decimals and fractions. She developed a toolbox of “tricks” to assist her into the future! 

Flynn – English Tutoring

Flynn participated in 8 sessions of English tutoring. We engaged in reading, writing and spelling activities. We also explored phonemic awareness and linking symbols to sound through phonograms. In addition to addressing English skills, learning skills and their importance were also emphasised. Oftentimes, students may experience anxiety and frustration in the classroom, so at Educate Tutoring, we aim to provide a safe space for students to grow in their interest towards learning! Flynn is now able to utilise spelling skills with increased confidence due to heightened decoding skills and has improved in his willingness towards the learning process.  

Owen – English Tutoring 

Owen participated in 12 sessions of English tutoring. At the beginning of the program, Owen struggled to decode and spell 3-letter words and lacked confidence in reading. During the program, he was re-introduced to reading, writing, spelling, phonemic awareness, phonograms, and creative planning. Additionally, we emphasised the core elements of English learning to solidify Owen’s understanding of how all the parts fit together! By the end of the program, Owen was able to understand and retain the reading and writing process and the connections between text forms. He was able to recognise and understand common phonographs and identify common double letter phonographs. He proudly improved confidence in reading 4 and above letter words! 

Alain *– English Tutoring 

Alain participated in 8 sessions of English tutoring and experienced success in reading fluency and comprehension. At the beginning of the program, Alain was able to read simple one syllable words by sounding aloud. Blending sounds together was not an automatic skill. By the end of the program, Alain had progressed to reading a full book from our decodable readers. He read with fluency and expressed emotion and understanding of punctuation. Alain was able to answer questions, make predictions and summarise the books he read. He also made great gains with his handwriting and is now capable of forming the majority of his letters correctly. Alain can now articulate each of the jobs of silent final ‘e’ in his spelling words and uses this knowledge to decode and encode new words! 

Why Educate Tutoring?

At Educate Tutoring, we draw on the theory of the Spalding method. Spalding has been proven to be successful because it integrates spelling, writing and reading through systematic and sequential teaching using explicit, interactive, diagnostic instruction. Through the use of a multisensory approach, the Spalding method aligns with the five literacy components consistent with the recommendations made by the National Inquiry in the Teaching of Reading: Phonemic Awareness, Systematic Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension. 

At Educate Tutoring, we believe in being child-centred, where the wellbeing of the child is first and foremost; having high expectations of our students; and continuous teacher improvement, so that we can be sure we are constantly updating and refining our teaching as new resources and research becomes available. 

Warm regards,

Naomi Wright

Director, Educate Tutoring

Our Response to COVID-19

I’d like to extend a personal and heartfelt thank you for your understanding and support of the measures we have taken to adjust to the ever-changing coronavirus landscape. 

Whilst prioritising the health and safety of our students and their families, we remain as committed as ever to the continuing educational support of our students. It is our aim to assist your child’s ongoing engagement with learning, particularly in the event that attendance at school or college is disrupted.

As our service continues to evolve, we have been working with technology in a new and exciting way that allows us to connect students seeking academic support and extension from remote locations. As of Tuesday 24th March, all lessons will be delivered through the online conferencing facility, Zoom. For more information about Zoom, follow this link.

Please know that the transition to online service delivery is a preventative measure and is being implemented in accordance with government recommendations.

Whilst the timing of these changes is unexpected, we are excited about the possibilities it may present moving forward.

I am most grateful for the opportunity we have to work with you and your family, and I thank you for your patience and understanding as we all navigate these unusual times. Do not hesitate to make contact should you have any queries about how tutoring may work for you and your family. Let’s stay connected during this time. Stay safe and look out for one another!

Warm regards,

Naomi Wright

Director, Educate Tutoring

Meet Our Director

Sitting on my lounge room floor, laptop on my knees, my heart is somewhat brimming with gratitude as I scan the ‘bios’ written by my Educate colleagues. Working alongside such a beautiful team of earnest, enthusiastic and thoroughly capable educators is a gift. I could never have imagined, when I made the decision to leave my role as social worker in both the State Health and Education sectors, that I would have this privilege. 

If the truth be known, I simply fell into my teaching career.

If the truth be known, I simply fell into my teaching career, but I’ll never forget the moment I realised the depth of my responsibility as a classroom teacher. I was keenly aware that each one of my students had their own individual personality and character, learning style, strengths and needs.  Establishing safe and nurturing relationships with each student is a natural and integral part of my practice.

Early in my career, I was given the opportunity to work with a colleague who had been trained to teach literacy skills using the Spalding Method.  I sat along-side my students while we all learned the phonograms together.  The success experienced in our classroom was solid as we gathered measurable data impressive enough to be reported in the newspaper and attract regular visits from our district superintendent.  I went on to complete my own formal training and have, over the years, continued studying to become a Certified Spalding Teacher.  I am now also qualified as an Accredited Spalding Instructor. 

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship through Square Pegs Dyslexia Support Group participating in training with the Institute of Multi-Sensory Language Education (IMSLE) successfully completing the Associate MSL course.

My training and experience have helped me develop a strong framework around which I am able to prepare and deliver effective, evidence-based instruction for our students at Educate.  I am continually looking for ways to refine the delivery of content, ensuring that it is efficient, effective and engaging – maximising the use of the small amount of time we have with our families each week.

Adding to the academic focus of our work at Educate, we have created a welcoming and productive space.  Surrounded by green and garden, it provides a very different experience to that of the school classroom or the clinical setting of a therapy practice.  Along with Marley, our resident golden cocker spaniel, Educate really is a unique place to ‘work’.  

Simply, I love it.

Naomi Wright

Director, Educate Tutoring