Norwyn Crame has tutored English with Get Further since September 2021, supporting GCSE and Functional Skills students at Newham College to grow in confidence, secure gateway qualifications and unlock opportunities. Having recently been promoted to Lead Tutor, Norywn reflects on his experience of tutoring with us and how it has helped his professional development.
My name is Norwyn Crame, and I have tutored with Get Further for just under two years. What initially attracted me to the charity was the core of its mission. I grew up in Newham and attended state schools nearby to the colleges where I worked with Get Further. Due to my upbringing, I was aware of how many students were being left behind as resources for the public education sector dwindled over the last decade. I wanted to do my part to help. I was also drawn to the flexible work schedule – as a student studying at LSE when I began tutoring, I appreciated working with Programme Coordinators who were accommodating to my needs.
The thing I most enjoyed about tutoring was seeing my students’ progress. It was rewarding seeing them improve each week, and I always made a point to draw their attention to the improvements I saw. After one session where my student made great progress with recognising language devices in texts and developing structured answers, the student expressed disbelief that the sessions were free. Interactions like these reinforced that I was doing good work for a great cause.
“It’s exciting to be a part of an organisation that provides a tangible pathway for career progression and pays attention to their tutors’ growth”
I didn’t have any formal teaching experience before I started the role, but I felt supported by Get Further in terms of my professional development, and this calmed any anxieties I had about my ability to teach students. Prior to tutoring, there were two training days to help new tutors learn to approach their sessions effectively. We were also given a wealth of resources, including a tuition booklet that contained structured lesson plans ordered in a logical sequence, with each topic building on the previous lesson.
Working as a tutor refined my communication skills. I learnt to avoid the jargon that my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees taught me and to carefully consider how I said things to ensure my explanations could be easily understood. I also learned a lot from Get Further’s regular upskilling webinars on topics such as teaching students with English as an additional language and Assessment for Learning. These sessions also offered opportunities to connect with other tutors about our experiences. It was a great opportunity for collaborative learning and showed that Get Further was invested in our future development.
“Providing free tuition to help students get the qualifications they need to further their prospects is a mission I am proud to participate in”
By carrying out observations throughout the year and providing constructive feedback, Get Further also does very well at tracking how well tutors are doing and providing opportunities for introspection. Improvement and success are celebrated within the charity with Tutor of the Month awards for good performance. I’m grateful to have won the award for March, and to have been invited to participate in Get Further’s Q&A panel at Westminster for their 5th birthday as a result. This was a great opportunity to reflect on my experiences from the year and share my thoughts with an audience.
To summarise, my experience with Get Further has been very positive. I recently progressed into a Lead Tutor role, taking on new responsibilities such as administrative tasks and leading on student communications. It’s exciting to be a part of an organisation that provides a tangible pathway for career progression and pays attention to their tutors’ growth. I strongly believe that the tutor role is a good starting point for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the charity and education sectors because of this.
Over the last two years, I’ve seen so many students make significant progress from their first lessons. I am most proud of some of my students’ growing enthusiasm with reading outside of lessons and wish them well for their future plans. I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent working for Get Further, and providing free tuition to help students get the qualifications they need to further their prospects is a mission I am proud to participate in.