During my education and my relatively long career in customer service and public relations I gained a huge amount of expertise, so now I am keen to pass on to others my skills and experience. I like working with people and feeling I am helping them.
- Which subject(s) do you teach?
I mainly offer tutoring and coaching in the following subjects: Elocution and accent reduction, help with Essay and Dissertation Writing, Spelling and Grammar, Interview Skills (including dealing with the Media), Public Speaking (including Wedding Speeches), Adult Literacy, Presentation Writing and Delivery. My techniques also cover mindfulness, voice projection, body language, conversation skills, confident speaking and speaking idiomatic English (mainly for clients who speak English as a foreign language).
This list is not exhaustive though, so please contact me if you are looking for a subject not listed here. Please note that I do not offer an essay-writing service - I can help people to write an essay or dissertation but I can't write it for them.
- Tell me about your qualifications.
I studied English, Latin and Philosophy at Durham University and graduated as a BA with Honours in all three subjects. I later successfully studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Communications at Leeds Trinity University College. In 2010 I was awarded a Master of Arts Degree in Public Communications from the University of Leeds for my research on how unemployment is portrayed by the media in the North East. I hold a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a Certificate in Fundraising Skills.
- How much do you charge?
I charge £40 an hour for tuition, although the first session, which usually lasts one hour, is completely free and without obligation. If the client does not wish to proceed after the first hour, there is no further charge.
If I have to travel a significant distance from home to see a client, I add a travelling charge between £5 and £10 per round trip, but of course this does not apply to the first, free session or to online tutoring using Skype or Facetime.
- Where do you teach?
I do not see clients at my home address, and in any case if I am meeting them face-to-face it is usually easier and better for me to come to them. I am based in Durham but willing to travel to most parts of North East England including County Durham, Wearside, Tyne and Wear, Newcastle, Tyneside, Sunderland, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Cleveland and North Yorkshire. I teach online for clients all over the UK and beyond.
- When are you available?
Normally, unless I have previous bookings, I am available any day of the week and any time within reason.
- Which ages and levels do you teach?
Most of my clients are adults but I will consider tutoring school-age children.
- Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I am happy to tutor by Skype or Facetime if that is most convenient for the client. In fact I work online with about half my clients, which means I can tutor people all over the UK and in other countries.
- Do you have a personal message for students?
I prefer to work WITH my clients to achieve what they want, rather than teaching AT them. My approach is different with each individual, depending on their needs, their previous experience and what they are expecting of me. I appreciate this may be the first time the have had private tuition and I do my best to make our sessions as varied, interesting and enjoyable as I can.
- What kind of experience do you have?
After an earlier career in customer service in the public sector I became a government press and public relations officer in 1999, a job I held for more than eleven years before going it alone. In that role I worked mainly for the Department for Work and Pensions but was involved in projects with other organisations including the Ministry of Defence and Buckingham Palace. I was regularly responsible for briefing government ministers and senior managers, arranging ministerial visits and providing training and coaching for junior colleagues. My training and experience covered all aspects of public communications including: Media Handling and Dealing with Journalists, Copywriting, Press Release Writing, Marketing, Campaign Management, Event Management, Brand and Reputation Management, Crisis Management, Research and Analysis, Internal Communications, Interview Techniques, Public Speaking and Presentation, and Social Media and Online Marketing. I am a member of the Senior Common Rooms at the College of St Hild and St Bede, and Collingwood College in the University of Durham, a Mentor to a number of Hild Bede students and former secretary of the alumni association of that college. As well as tutoring I run training courses in personal communication skills.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
I do not hold a DBS certificate – this is not a legal requirement for a self-employed tutor. However I do hold a 'subject access request' document from Durham Constabulary confirming that no information about me is held on the Police National Computer, and this is available for inspection on request. Parents are very welcome to sit in on sessions with their children.
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
I am a full member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and a full member of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
- Tell me about some of your current students.
I have tutored all ages, including school and university students, business people, teachers, accountants and oil rig workers, and many nationalities including Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, French, American and Nepalese. Several of my clients have been referred to me by their employers, who have identified a need to improve their personal communications skills. Sometimes people need help to prepare for a particular event, such as a big speech or a job or college interview. Sometimes they just feel the need to improve their written and/or spoken communications. I tailor my sessions to their particular needs.
• BA Hons (Durham) English, Latin, Philosophy
• MA (Leeds) Public Communications, PG Dip (Leeds) Public Communications
• Police subject access request available for inspection on request
• Chartered Institute of Public Relations, National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT)
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