Meet official Jigsaw Phonics tutor Kara Cook!
This week I am in the tutor spotlight in the Jigsaw Phonics Tutoring membership as an official Jigsaw Phonics Tutor! You can read the original post here:
Hello, I'm Kara.
I am a passionate primary tutor and phonics expert.
My mission is to help children learn to read and write with enthusiasm and fun so their confidence and success rocket.
What made you decide to become a tutor?
Teaching has been my life's passion. I am a qualified teacher with 22 years of experience, an MA in Early Years Education, and an English Literacy specialism. While working as a primary teacher, I enjoyed helping children master their literacy skills in small groups and 1:1. I felt there was a need to help children become confident with their reading, and decided tutoring was a way to use my experience to support them. I tutored children in person as a private tutor for about ten years during the summer holidays and made the switch to online tutoring about two years ago. It was the right fit for me and my family and I am happy I made the decision to start my own online tutoring business.
Who do you tutor?
My ideal tutee is a child between the ages of 4-8, who needs help with their reading or writing. Ideally, they will love being silly and having fun (as much as me) and have a positive growth mindset to learning.
What's the best part of being a tutor?
The best part of being a tutor is having those wow moments with children. It is a fantastic feeling to work with struggling readers and take them through their learning journey to the moment where they have a breakthrough and are able to read with confidence and fluency.
What has surprised you most in your tutoring journey?
My online tutoring journey started just shortly after the pandemic. What surprised me most was that there were so many children that needed my help. The other thing that impressed me is that tutoring online has the same if not more of an impact than in-person tuition. As I have done both, I definitely prefer online!
Apart from your computer, what's the most useful resource or piece of tech you use in your tutoring business?
Currently, the most important resource I use is the ready-to-teach Jigsaw Phonics lessons that I use with my phonics tutees. The characters, Puzzle the panda, Wug the alien and Trick the robot make the lessons fun, and the children and I absolutely love them!
What's the most useful educational "bit of kit" you use to tutor your students?
The most useful educational bit of kit that I use daily is simply a mini whiteboard when working with younger children. I can show them my board and model writing words and have them do the same on theirs. We also do this on the screen in one note, but I think mini whiteboards are brilliant! Puzzle the panda and Froggy are also a necessity when I'm tutoring phonics as they add an extra touch of encouragement and fun to each lesson.
Group tutoring or one-on-one? How are you tutoring?
I am currently tutoring one-to-one but am excited to be offering small group tutoring. I think children need that extra socialization and that it will help them in their phonics learning.
What's your best single piece of advice for someone thinking of starting their tutoring business?
My best advice is to start off small and find a niche that suits you best.
Also, be persistent and don't be afraid to ask for help.
What has been your proudest accomplishment while tutoring your students?
One of my proudest accomplishments has been with a 5-year-old child named Charlotte who I've been tutoring for nearly a year. When we first started tutoring, Charlotte had just turned 5. She was shy at first and needed lots of encouragement to get her to interact with me online. Her mum worked hard to keep her involved in the phonics lessons and was a great help in supporting her. Charlotte has delayed speech and found learning a real challenge. She struggled with reading and saying her sounds when we began tuition, so we started with the first phonics phase and simple decodable books. Each lesson was a challenge but together with her mum, her confidence grew. Since then, she has been so determined to learn to read, which I find inspiring.
In contrast to those early days, Charlotte is a completely different child now! She tells her mum what she needs for her lesson and just gets on with it. So mum can relax in the background knowing she is getting the best support.
When we greet each other at the beginning of our lessons, we are jumping with excitement! I join in with Puzzle the panda and Freddy the frog and she does the same on her end with her cuddly toys, Timmy the turtle, and Rex the dinosaur. We then start out by seeing how we are feeling, and she is always all smiles. She is hooked on phonics and can't wait to see the characters Puzzle and Wug.
Last week, when Puzzle said, "You are a phonics star!" she quickly responded, "I know this already, I know all my sounds and I'm a really good reader."
Charlotte expresses herself with oodles of confidence and determination, something I want for every child I tutor.
After we learn our new sound and read and write some silly sentences, Charlotte loves to practice her reading and reads an Oxford Owl e-book to me. She is currently reading above her age range which is amazing progress. We are looking forward to starting the Trick the robot lessons this week which I am sure she will love!
What is happening next?
I am excited to offer small group tutoring. My Puzzle, Wug, and Trick groups will be available from this April. Places will be limited to 3- 4 children to allow for a personalised learning experience. Book now to ensure your child's slot!
Where can we find you?
You can get in touch with me in a few places!
LET’S GET SOCIAL:
💻 My website & blog: www.karaprimarytutor.com
🎇 DOWNLOAD your FREE Reading Toolkit: https://www.karaprimarytutor.com/freebie
📸 Instagram: www.instagram.com/just2imaginetutors
📌 Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/just2imaginetutors
Are you interested in literacy support for your child?
Book a FREE Discovery Call with me to find out more.
GET IN TOUCH: I’d love to hear from you if you feel like chatting!
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t wait to connect with you!