Let’s give a big welcome to our latest Mentor of the Month! Megan, from Bristol but studying Education at Durham University, joined our online tutoring program in March 2020. With her enthusiastic personality and passion for teaching, she has quickly become one of our most popular tutors – teaching over 10 students in the past few months!
Alongside her usual one-on-one mentoring sessions, Megan has also been involved in designing new short courses, recording an excellent series of fun guided reading videos, and judging the summer reading challenge competition. More recently, she has taken on additional responsibilities assisting our new tutor support efforts, including interviewing and mentoring new tutors.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am from Bristol, which is in the south-west of England, but I am currently studying Education at the University of Durham – Harry Potter was filmed there! I previously lived in the French Alps for a year, where I was an au pair and taught English. I have worked with children for five years in roles including Early Years Educator, Drama Teacher and language Camp Leader. More recently, I also was part of the team setting up an engineering university in Hereford, England – so I am a university designer and creator too!
My hobbies include triathlon (swimming, cycling and running) and hiking – I have climbed all four of the highest mountains in the UK! I also love acting, dancing, singing and music. Last year, I started learning Irish dance, and I also play the clarinet and sing. Finally, I enjoy baking – my favourite thing to bake is chocolate brownies!
What do you enjoy about teaching online with the Star Mentor program?
I always look forward to seeing my students and enjoy getting to know each child. It is rewarding to see their confidence and language skills grow as they learn English through topics they are interested in.
My favourite topics to teach are classic children’s books (especially “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”) – I enjoy helping children learn to read using books I read when I was younger. Another popular subject is “Pirates and Princesses” – always an excuse to dress up!
How would you describe your teaching approach?
I would describe my approach as personalised, encouraging, interactive and always fun! I am dedicated and enthusiastic, and believe that children should be engaged and interested in their learning, so they retain the language more effectively. It is great for children to be exposed to as much English as possible – through books, TV and film.
My lessons are based around core objectives (e.g. using new vocabulary in full sentences) which are put into practice with a fun activity. Some of my favourite activities include Charades, spot the difference, acting out a script and bingo.
What special moments have you had on the Star Mentor program?
I have received some really sweet videos of a student doing happy dances after class – if that’s not great feedback that the child is enjoying classes, I don’t know what is!!
There have also been some amusing moments too, for example lots of over-enthusiastic hi-5s through the screen making their laptop fall over and a Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song where the child was so enthusiastic they themselves fell over! During a lesson on Food, I learnt that Domino’s sells durian fruit pizza in China…