Explore Learning’s staff share their passions

December 17, 2020

staff passions

Explore Learning is brought to life by passionate people. Not only are our people full of life and soul,  they’re also dedicated to supporting children to follow their passions, whatever they may be.

It’s no secret that Explore’s people are certainly an inspirational bunch. That’s why we wanted to ask our staff to share their passions with you! 

All of our staff share their passions of inspiring and motivating children to achieve their best, but more than that, Explore wholeheartedly believes that every child is capable of incredible things. Both now and when they grow up. We’re all on the brink of greatness. 

We’re always surprised to find out more delightful facts about our staff that we didn’t know before. Yes, undoubtedly they are all whizzes when it comes to teaching maths and English and inspiring fearless learners. But what other passions can our staff share?

  • Meet Richard (Performance Director):

“I’ve always been passionate about creating new experiences and helping others. One of the main ways in which I have done this has been through volunteering as a coach. 

In 2019 I started a coaching course and this year began volunteering for a fantastic organisation called Yes Futures. They partner with schools in the UK to provide coaching to teenagers. It’s designed to improve their resilience, confidence, communication, and self-awareness. Their values and aspirations are very similar to ours at Explore. So, I was drawn to help in any way I could. I’ve been accustomed to using coaching skills at Explore, having benefited from being coached and mentored by some inspiring colleagues. So, I wanted to see how I could translate the skills I have learnt to teenagers in a different context to our centres. 

With 2020 being such a challenging year for so many young people, it has been really rewarding working with them more in-depth. Exploring their strengths and how they can harness these to be the very best possible version of themselves.

The programme is currently being run online where I meet with my students via video-call. But with the hope that in the future we can meet face to face. Coaching is such a great way to help gain clarity, recognise your strengths and reinvigorate a sense of purpose. I’ve definitely learnt that whoever we are and whatever age we are, this is something we can all benefit from!”

  • Meet Caitlyn (Walton Tutor):

staff passions

“I’ve been passionate about  Musical Theatre my whole life. Musicals have been a huge part of my family, with my mum and I seeing shows for as long as I can remember. As a child, my nan put on Lord of the Dance for my cousin and me to watch, and we played it on repeat. We adored watching how quickly their feet moved, the sounds they made, and the pure beauty of the story they told through dance.

 I’m hooked on the thrill of live performance. 

Ask anyone who has seen a show with me; they will all tell you that I cry at the end of every single one. A joyful or heart-wrenching ending will always have me in tears. And that is simply because I feel the passion these people ooze out in their performance. I know how hard the performance industry is, and how hard they’ve worked to get where they are. I’ve been so invested in watching the story they have the honour of telling me, that when I’m removed from the story itself, I’m reminded of the great work performers do, and how much I want to be there.

Having a strong passion does come with its falls – it takes years to get your ‘big break’ in a performance industry, paired with hard work. It’s work that never stops – which, of course, you can say this about any industry. I believe firmly that performers never stop refining their skill set. Not only for themselves but so that others have the joy and privilege of watching live theatre.

I’m so fortunate now to have graduated drama school (even if it has been during a pandemic) and can now look forward into a career in the area I’ve always dreamed of. Hours of acting, dancing and singing classes feel like they’ve paid off; I’m able to show people now what I’ve worked for my whole life. That feeling is pretty incredible if you ask me!”

 

  • Meet Rachael (Regional Manager):

“The photo above is of Francis and Mary. I met them whilst volunteering for a local charity at the start of lockdown and I’ve been doing their weekly shop every Monday since then. They are two of the warmest people you will ever meet. Salt of the earth. Every week, we put the world to rights on their doorstep. They always insist on me taking a piece of fruit home (usually a Mango!) 

I’m not sure they realise this but they have helped me through 2020 just as much as I’ve helped them. 

In a time where I’ve never felt further from my own family, they make every blue Monday a brighter one.”

 

  • Meet Emma (Abbey Wood Manager):

“My journey to find the perfect musical instrument started back in primary school. I was convinced, I was going to become the next Christina Aguilera. I believe that passion needs to be nurtured and supported, which I definitely received from my family. They supported me when I tried piano lessons, singing lessons, and even when I believed I was going to be a professional recorder player. Most importantly they understood how much I wanted music to be part of my life. They also supported my fourth attempt at learning an instrument, the saxophone.

I wish I could say I was drawn to the saxophone because I heard someone play it at a concert and was in awe. But in typical eleven-year-old fashion I just thought the word saxophone was “cool”.

I am a firm believer that it does not matter how you stumble across your passion. It is what you then do with it that is most important.

Once I found the saxophone, I searched for new opportunities in order to develop my newfound skill. This ranged from playing in the ‘pit’ for musicals to composing music for an ensemble, to playing in every band or orchestra that would have me. My hard work, commitment, perseverance and pure enjoyment led me to graduate with a First-Class Honours in Music (BA).

 It is scientifically proven that people listening to pleasurable music stimulates euphoric reward responses in the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain. Meaning whether you are the performer or the listener, music links to positive and happy emotions. Being able to positively influence the mood of people around me is one of the many reasons I love being a musician.

You are never too old to find or develop your passion. 

I believe that passions are constantly evolving. I am now in my twenties and have re-found a love in playing the piano and singing. Although I will never be Christina Aguilera, I am so happy that I have re-discovered the instruments that stemmed my passion for music.”

Thank you to Richard, Caitlyn, Rachael and Emma for sharing your passions with us. If you’re a member, do share your passions with your tutor and ask our staff to share their passions with you in return in your next session!

Find out why our people set us apart from the rest. Meet our professional and friendly team today in a free trial to discover how we can support your child to reach their goals, to become the best person they can be.

It all starts here.

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