Upper Primary, Secondary & JC Level – Bukit Panjang

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English Tutor Reflection for Year 2022

First of all, a very happy new year to you! As you probably already know, I write a post just like this one at the beginning of each year to mark the changes or improvements that I will be making for the year. Here are a few notable highlights.

  1. Accurate results predictions – Based on school and mock assessments, I have been able to predict, somewhat accurately, a student’s performance for an important exam (e.g. a national exam). I believe this means that the working methods have been proven effective time and again. This means that I will only be fine tuning the teaching and not change something that is working well.

    Year 2022 has been a particularly exhausting year as I have a large group of students taking national exams (N/O Levels and PSLE). However, now that some of the results have been released, I felt that it was a particularly good year as well. Efforts from myself and students paid off and ALL the students have managed to achieve their personal goals, with one student even getting a grade 1 for her N-Levels.
  2. Student feedback – Several years ago, all my students had forms in their files that showed the progress of their homework. If they did not do their homework, it would be marked as incomplete. I’d done away with the forms as some parents did not even look at the forms! However, I believe it is important to know if their children are not performing up to expectations in class. Therefore, I will continue to provide feedback on homework to parents ONLY for students who do not do their part.
  3. Abundant learning resources – Every year, I create new teaching resources in the form of videos, worksheets, model essays, etc. 2022 is no different. There are abundant resources for students to work on. In fact, some of the students had not been able to complete the worksheets as we ran out of time! The more motivated students tend to be able to complete the worksheets as they are more consistent in their work.
  4. Reading time – Almost all my lessons in the past have been focused on getting the students engaged. Some students, particularly the shy ones, do not take to this style of teaching very well. Therefore, I will be adjusting my teaching style according and perhaps cut back on the engagement and encourage more reading. After that, perhaps I will engage the students with a brief discussion and touch on important learning points. This means that I will be creating more resources for students to consume during lessons. This will benefit all students as most of my students do not read outside of English lessons. Giving them more materials to read will enhance their language skills.
  5. Changes in syllabus – There are some minor changes to the syllabus and from this year onwards, the changes will be implemented in O-levels. For the younger students, they are already given the new syllabus in school exams. Some of my students are worried about the change in syllabus. Understandably, they are fearful as they have not taken a closer look at the changes. They are worried that the paper may become more difficult. Interestingly, the new changes have not affected my students’ results adversely at all. In fact, my personal opinion is that the paper has become more manageable! The language skills will be there no matter what so cosmetic changes to the syllabus will not have a huge impact on a student’s results.
  6. Comprehensive coverage – Year 2022 is a year that I cover all aspects of the paper. In the past, I spend more time on paper 1 and 2 as most students struggle with these papers. Gradually, I noticed that some students also struggle with oral and listening comprehension. After allocating some time in conducting lessons for oral and LC, there has been positive improvements. I look forward to more positive results from my students for subsequent years.
  7. Side benefit – Most students sign up for tuition in order to get a better grade for English so that they can get admitted to their desired course. However, some students join us merely to try and pass English so that they do not fall behind. Falling behind means being laterally transferred (e.g. Express to NA) or retained. For these students, the target is not an “A’ or even a ‘B’. The target is to just help them improve enough so that they at least pass the exam. One side benefit I observe is that the gradual improvements start to build up their confidence. Usually, be the end of the year, after getting a confident passing grade, they show more interest in the subject. In my view, they have achieved something that cannot be seen from results slips. For these students, their struggles become less pronounced for the coming years and I intend to continue doing my best for them.
  8. Multimedia resources – Over the holidays, I have been working hard on creating more multimedia resources. I hope, for this year, I can use more digital resources as I believe having access to these lessons will help students improve even more. Creating resources is a very time consuming process. Each video lesson take hours to write, record, and edit. But in the long run, students can learn from these resources even after their face-to-face lessons have ended. Admittedly, not all students will be so studious as to watch those videos at home. However, for those who really want to improve, at least more help is available. For this year, I hope to be able to complete a series of video lessons for those who prefer self-directed learning (i.e. learning online from home).
  9. Under-performing students – Several times a year, I am asked if I take on under-performing students. Granted, these students are more challenging to teach. However, if you have been reading my posts or watching some of my videos, you already know that my goal is not to help every student achieve an ‘A’. The truth and reality is, not everyone can. So yes, I do take on under-performing students PROVIDED parents have realistic expectations. My take is clear – as long as the student doesn’t give up on himself/herself and plays his/her part, I will continue to support them.

In sum, 2022 has worked out really great, with all my students achieving satisfactory results. I fully intend to retain many effective teaching methods that have already been proven to be highly effective and on top of that, I hope to continue to be innovative and come up with new ways and materials to support my students. Even though my students may not be reading this post, I’d still like to thank them for attending my lessons.

With that, I wish you all the best for 2023 and I certainly hope there can be more breakthroughs for the year. Thank you for reading.

Mr. Chow