At Art of Smart we provide the service of Academic Mentoring. This involves working with a range of students in K-12 on a 1 on 1 capacity teaching them syllabus & curriculum driven content along with guidance and mentoring around relevant study and life skills.
Working at Art of Smart provides our Coaches with a range of invaluable skills including communication and liaising with parents, lesson planning, resource development, time management and rapport building just to name a few!
We chatted to one of our AOS Coaches, Jess to find out why being an AOS Coach perfectly complements her study to become a teacher and the skills she has gained out of it!
How has working as an AoS tutor helped you develop key skills in becoming a teacher and why, if you’re studying teaching, should you work with AoS?
When I set about applying to return to university to study education at the end of 2013 (after working full time as a marketing coordinator and office administrator for two years), I hadn’t really given any thought to obtaining a part time or casual job whilst studying. During my undergraduate studies, I had worked as a checkout chick but the thought of going back to that was less than desirable. I also felt that if I was going to work, I wanted that employment to complement my studies – actually provide me with some relevant experience. So when my brother informed me that AoS was hiring I jumped at the opportunity and it has certainly paid off.
Working as an AoS tutor has helped me to establish confidence in my ability to teach and engage with students across all stages.
It has acted as a stepping stone into the realm of lesson planning, resource collection, preparation and management, and task differentiation (recognising and catering for diversity among students).
Being an AoS tutor has helped develop my communication skills
An essential part of both teaching and working as an AoS tutor is communicating with students and their parents, establishing a rapport and working together to set and achieve learning goals. It has enhanced my skills in providing quality feedback and constructive criticism to students and reporting to parents on their child’s progress. It has also forced me to reflect on my own teaching practice – figure out what strategies are effective and realise when I need to alter my methods to make them more suitable for the individual student.
I find simultaneously working with AoS and studying teaching the perfect combination.
There is no doubt that preparing a lesson for and getting up in front of a class of 30 students is slightly different to one-on-one sessions. However, in the end, the same underlying principles apply and I have utilised my private tutorials as low-risk opportunities to exercise new pedagogical skills and theories that I have been learning about at university. I also get ideas and inspiration for lessons and resource materials from my studies that I know are highly relevant as they are directly related to the syllabus documents.
Practically speaking, working as an AoS tutor is also convenient in terms of working hours and load.
Working after school hours fits in neatly with my own lecture and tutorial schedule and also allows me to keep my weekends free (even if it is for assignments). Working a maximum of 5-10 hours per week has really helped me keep a good life balance, establish a sustainable routine and manage my time effectively such that I can continue working even during hectic assessment and exam periods.
Teaching is a unique skill. Through my educational studies I have come to appreciate that knowing your subject matter and knowing how to teach your subject matter are two very different things. Working as an AoS tutor has allowed me to really practice teaching my subject matter, build up my self-efficacy as an educator, and accumulate a repertoire of practices that I will be able to take with me into my future career as a teacher.