Featured Tutor: James O’Donoghue

Featured Tutor: James O’Donoghue
July 5, 2017
Marilyn Brydges

Here is our latest post in our Featured Tutor series! As always, it showcases one of our many excellent tutors and demonstrates why he is so passionate about tutoring, and why we love him.

James is currently studying for a BSc in Anthropology at UCL. He is a highly experienced tutor in his fourth year of tutoring, having taught students at all ages from Year 2 through to A-level. At A-level he specialises in teaching Biology and Chemistry; he teaches Maths and Physics to GCSE; and all subjects including Maths and English up to 11+. James achieved stellar academic results at school in Kent, including A* in A-level Biology and Chemistry and 6 A* and 4 A at GCSE. Comments we have received about James include that he is always positive, he builds up great relationships with his students, he is thorough, and he is good at showing different ways to approach tricky concepts.

1) Why do you like teaching?

I enjoy teaching because it is highly rewarding, especially when the results come back for a tutee and you realise you’ve helped them achieve their full potential. I know from my own experiences that sometimes schools don’t have time for individual pupils, and cannot adapt to their individual needs in terms of learning, so being able to help a student with their work and to feel confident about what they’re doing in class is an amazing feeling.

2) What is your teaching style?

For me, one of the most important — if not the most important — role of being a tutor is to build a strong and good relationship with the tutee; to ensure lessons are not a chore, but are instead enjoyable and pressure-free. I also try to build confidence in students to tackle the questions they once struggled with, and to work through questions rather than setting them work for the lessons with no interaction.

3) Tell us your best teaching moment.

My most resonant memory was in my third week of tutoring when a Year 9 girl who was struggling with her fractions came to us, after trying out other tutors with little success. We both worked through an hour of fractions and by the end, she had made such great progress, she ran out to her mum shouting “I can do fractions!”. Her mother was very proud and seeing the girl so happy made me realise the benefits of tutoring and why I had started the job in the first place.

4) What are your interests outside of teaching?

I enjoy travelling around and taking photos, music and playing my guitars.