For over 2 years now, the Qualified Tutor Community has served as a melting pot of ideas and connection, of friendship and warmth.
Anyone who’s been a member will attest to the strength of feeling and depth of passion that embodies the community. Members comment and share confidently for the benefit of others, knowing that their support will be reciprocated at a later date if needed.
This is the heart- and people-led movement that Julia (Silver) and I felt would provide such fertile ground from which the (grass)roots of raised standards in tutoring could, and should, grow. We had both seen a tutoring sector that relied too often and too heavily on individuals that either were not confident in their craft or who simply didn’t care about it.
The Qualified Tutor Community is not the silver bullet to perfection in tutoring, nor the panacea for changing widespread attitudes towards tutoring. But it has gone a long way to helping a great number of tutors and businesses better understand each other, and raise their standards alongside that.
And it may help to take you back to the beginnings to demonstrate that.
Like many of us in the spring of 2020, we were closely following the news and reports that suggested our lives may henceforth be lived out from the comfort (and safety) of our own homes.
In a culmination of several months of thinking, Julia and I came to understand that what tutors needed, more than ever at a time of lockdown, was community and an end to those feelings of isolation that often accompany tutoring.
Thus, the Qualified Tutor Community was born. And we were by no means the only ones to think this. Similar communities sprung up (or developed) across the tutoring market, to the benefit of thousands of tutors, parents and students worldwide.
The early days of the Community (and indeed, Qualified Tutor) were focused on understanding the tutoring market, and its players, as best we could. Listening to individual tutors, agencies, tutor support services, schools and parents to get a sense of what it was that motivated them and, crucially, what they felt could be improved in the sector.
Even before the Community had begun, we began to answers those questions. We launched the first iterations of the course that has come to represent the core of what we offer. The earliest versions of the 4-part CPD course that we devised have stood the test of time and, although regularly reviewed and updated, the current course is not dissimilar to the very first workshops we ran.
I recently came across an image of the early days of the Community and you might be able to see the dates of the courses displayed (summer and autumn 2020 cohorts) as well as the Tutor2Tutor Shared Resource Bank, an early idea that allowed tutors to submit and categorise all kinds of tutoring resources into one big library. Gone (for now) but not forgotten.
As the Community grew, we were able to speak to more and more tutors, from a greater range of backgrounds, subjects and cultures, and this allowed us to continually improve the perspective from which we designed our products and events.
Julia even claiming to target specific regions of London in her quest for development (thanks to a transcription service that hadn’t quite picked up the word ‘tutoring’) …
Yet this improvement has continued until the present day. And this summer, we decided to evolve the focus of the Qualified Tutor Community.
After 3 hugely enjoyable and highly successful Love Tutoring Festivals, the impression we felt was that a more extended calendar of events, with time built in to create more of a connection with speakers and fellow participants and to implement the ideas shared, was what the sector believed in.
As such, we took the decision to continue the energy and buzz of an LTF into a more sustainable model of delivery. And in that decision was born the Love Tutoring Community.
The Love Tutoring Community loses nothing of the daily questions, ideas, queries and support that was shared within the Qualified Tutor Community. It was important we didn’t reduce the offer for those members that wanted to drop in when they could and find help freely and easily.
But the impact of high-quality CPD, coupled with close working relationships, that vital component of the Festivals, was what tutors told us they wanted more of.
So the calendar of events continues, split between our 6 primary Hubs: English, Maths, Science, Wellbeing, SEND/SEMH and Business, as part of what we crowned ‘LTC Connect‘.
Within each Hub, every week, there are multiple events being held and shared: invited speaker-led events, open discussion panels, video content, informative blogs, mentoring and more: the ongoing CPD that committed, motivated independent and agency tutors want to see, and that maintains a high standard amongst educators. This serves to make LTC Connect a vibrant, exciting place to be.
To ensure the value of the content remains high and to give users a sense of the work that’s going on behind the scenes, Connect comes with a small monthly price, of £7.50 a month.
For what could quickly become less than 50p per session, this subscription represents a flexible, manageable way to access some of the best CPD around whenever you want (either live or yes, recordings are, of course, available) alongside friends, colleagues and contacts.
Since we began, we have never stopped listening, observing, innovating and advocating in the tutoring space. And LTC Connect is the continued evolution of a community that has always had its members very much front and centre.
It’s a great place to be an active part of further change in the right direction, and of the pursuit of raised standards in tutoring.