This week we have the pleasure of introducing Carley Whittle, who joined the Access Learning team in August 2019. Carley’s creative and cheerful nature truly embodies what we all strive for as tutors; and as a talented writer, we will let her words speak for themselves.
What do you like about working with Access Learning?
What I really enjoy about working with Access Learning is that I can work as an individual, but feel supported by a team.
What is your favourite thing about tutoring?
My favourite thing about tutoring is being able to connect with students as individuals, and as individual learners. It is so gratifying to be able to develop programs designed specifically for my students’ strengths and needs, feeling as though I can make a significant impact in each students’ academic confidence and overall self-confidence as a result. We know that each student has potential to set, strive for, and reach their learning goals, but empowering each student to have that same belief in themselves is what tutoring is all about.
How would you describe your tutoring style?
I would describe my tutoring style as fluid, proactive, and responsive. Getting to know my students as people and as learners is of upmost importance to me. In my opinion, students are not going to learn from someone they don’t like or trust. In developing strong relationships right from the beginning, I get to know and understand them better, and students are often more open to taking learning risks. By taking learning leaps, students develop more confidence in themselves and learn to approach new tasks with less fear in general. As a tutor, I am observing students’ behaviours and responses to a variety of tasks, recognizing which strategies and resources are working and which strategies and resources should be adjusted to better match the needs of the individual student. The more I tutor each student, the more I learn about their strengths and needs as a learner, the more I learn about myself a a tutor/teacher, and the better able I become to tutor/teach and empower each student. The process is quite cyclical.
What’s one piece of advice you always give your tutoring students?
*For students who have a hard time taking school/academics seriously.
If there’s something you need to do but don’t really want to, just pretend you do want to. Pretend you really, really care. Just for a little while. Eventually your brain will start believing you!
*For students who want to improve in school but are having a hard time doing it.
Positive words; positive thoughts. Speak to yourself like you’d speak to a close friend you really care about.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
When I was a kid, I really wanted to be an artist/fashion designer. I loved creating and making things look beautiful. Then I discovered math and the power of money and decided I wanted to be a Civil Engineer instead. Then, I thought, I could create even bigger things and get paid pretty well for it. By the time I was a pre-teen I added a third dimension – being a boss (aka. control, telling others what to do) – and decided it would be pretty cool to be a CEO of a large company. That way I could make lots of money, be the boss, and still be involved in some form of creation and design.
By the time I graduated high school, I realized that being a good person and helping kids become the best version of themselves that they could be was way more powerful than being the CEO I had in mind, so I honed in on my superpower and became a teacher.
What is your favourite meal?
Anything made with love! Home-cooked and hearty.
Top 3 books?
Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (Childhood Favourite)
Margaret Atwood’s “The Year of the Flood” (Got me back into reading for fun as an adult)
Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Inspired me to become an English teacher. Also, the plot line is the same as my favourite childhood movie The Lion King) *a play, not a book
Summer, spring, winter, or autumn? Why?
Neither and all. To me, the change of season is my favourite season. Each season has so many benefits and so much to teach the world about the natural cycles of everything. I have ample favourite activities in each. I find that just as one type of activity is becoming less exciting, the seasons change and new activities commence! Also, food. There’s no way I’d be happy eating the same way or drinking the same teas all year. I think of the year more as iced tea/lemonade (Summer), pumpkin spice (Autumn), chai spice (Winter), and green tea (Spring). Also known as Beach Season (Summer), Hike Season (Autumn), Cross-country Ski Season (Winter), and Bike Season (Spring). Luckily Yoga Season and Dance Season are year round.
What is a quote that inspires you?
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Mahatama Ghandi