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Learning is not a business

I sat down with tutor Chris, a pile of maths past papers between us. Filled with disgust, I turned over the cover page and half-heartedly explained to him how I think the question should be tackled. The clock tells me that there is 119 minutes more of this…

After bidding him farewell I returned to my desk. That wasn’t bad, I thought, for a 2 hour lesson with a complete stranger. With renewed vigour I attempted some questions on integration, and to my surprise, I had got them all right. Suddenly those past papers that daunted me before didn’t scare me anymore. But how was this possible, how could anyone teach me so much maths in two hours? Was it the way he broke down the individual questions in detail, or his patience in guiding me towards answering the question myself, or was it his words of encouragement when I made mistakes? I didn’t know for sure, but one thing was certain: he had managed to completely destroy my fear of maths.

Everyone dislikes learning at some point. As a teenager, I was curious to learn, but there were so many things I didn’t fully understand from school. With the passage of time, those things slowly evolved into hatred. It wasn’t because I was incapable, but because my blunders chipped away my confidence, and replaced it with dread. In fact all I needed at the time was someone who could help me rebuild my confidence again. That is exactly what Chris did. Most importantly he knew the exact reason why I was struggling in maths, and explained each question to me using concepts that I could understand. His approach was sincere and completely tailored towards the way I learn, and I could tell that he genuinely tried to make a difference. And he did. With the help of Chris and several other tutors from Osborne Cawkwell, I achieved 3 A’s at A-Level while having only had 2 B’s and a C in my mocks.

Four years later, I joined the Osborne Cawkwell team as a private tutor, and immediately it became apparent why we are different to other agencies. Education is not just about learning or passing exams, it is so much more than that. To me, it is a process of self-discovery, a means of realising one’s potential by developing interest and creating a passionate desire for knowledge, and a tool that spurs us on in pursuit of our dreams. Private tutors are at the forefront of education – our influence on children and young adults is absolutely paramount. It is therefore our duty not only to provide quality teaching, but also mentor today’s youths to think and learn for themselves, and help them develop and flourish into the fine individuals of tomorrow. For us at Osborne Cawkwell, this is our goal.

Everyone learns in a different way, just as every tutor’s approach is different. But there is one thing all of us at Osborne Cawkwell have in common: we love tutoring, and we are very good at it. Because to us, learning is not a business, it’s strictly personal.

Pan Xue


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