Meet Naomi Gale
Part Time Tutor
I’ve been working as a Tutor with Explore for over five years. Explore Learning is unique because the child is at the very centre of everything that we do. In a time when everything seems to be based on assessment and politics it is so refreshing to be part of a company that keeps the child and their learning preferences at the heart.
I found Explore Learning completely by chance when one opened up my local Sainsburys! I have always had an underlying passion for teaching and I couldn’t believe my eyes that I could work part-time in a role that allowed me to be so actively involved in supporting children’s learning. I had experience already as a dance student at college working with schools to deliver dances sessions to children and choreographing school performances. I did this on a voluntary basis and loved how I could help to empower students through performing arts. This had so much overlap with Explore’s ethos; it was a natural transition applying this experience to empowering students to beat their maths and English challenges!
So many opportunities were opened to me from the moment I became part of the tutoring team and over the years my repertoire of skills and training has been constantly built upon and invested in. In my first year of tutoring I found out the wonderful news that I was pregnant and immediately all hands were on deck within the team to help me continue tutoring safely. Experiencing my pregnancy in the centre helped me build strong bonds with families that still attend the centre today and created lifelong friendships with some of my colleagues. When I returned to the centre I began working 16 hours a week so that I could be eligible for Working Tax Credits as during my maternity leave I became a single parent. The centre helped immeasurably during my transition to becoming an independent parent taking care of a new baby and home. They corresponded with Working Tax Credits to aid my claim and provided glowing references to support my search for a home to rent. At a time that could have been incredibly stressful, and certainly was at times, the staff of Explore Learning were on hand to help professionally as well as emotionally too. From this point I have continued to build on my skill set as a Tutor but I’ve also been given opportunities to complete sales training, consistently reflect on my practise, manage and organise additional content sessions and customer service development. However, as mentioned before, my love of working at Explore Learning, is always driven by the children being at the centre of my role.
Until yesterday, a personal highlight would be the moment a Succeed in Secondary group I was leading were desperate to complete more examples of the different uses of commas! It was a challenge that, as a group, we had been battling for months and with a lot of work, explanations and alternative games and activities, the concepts finally just clicked! It was great to see them all so intrinsically motivated by their own success on a subject that can be so mind-numbingly boring! To be part of that has been a proud moment of my tutoring over the years.
However, this has been slightly overtaken by the proud moment I had yesterday when my son officially became a member of Explore Learning. As he embarks on his formal learning journey it is a source of great comfort to know that Explore Learning will be there with him every step of the way. Explore is going everywhere in the future – I hope! Explore Learning is growing and I hope this will mean we can continue to reach out to more families from a range of backgrounds and areas. Explore Learning are also constantly developing and improving the way we can support children’s learning; we are “magpie-ing” – and even creating – new innovative ways to improve children’s educational lives. This exposure to key up-to-date changes in National Curriculum and teaching pedagogy have allowed me pursue a career in teaching. I will start my Primary Education Degree in September and I feel completely equipped with experience and training to tackle the challenge of completing a degree as a single parent. I have no doubt that Explore will continue to be a vessel of support throughout my time at University and everyone has shared in my excitement that I am embarking on a new journey in Education.