Tutor Spotlight: Tanveer Pathan

Tanveer Pathan has been a tutor with Greater London Education since 2014.

He specialises in Maths, Chemistry and Physics at secondary level. He currently teaches at UCL demonstrating laboratory procedures to undergraduate and post graduate students.

We caught up with Tanveer to ask him about his opinions on tutoring and what got him started with GLE.

Can you could you tell us about how you got into tutoring?

I am a full-time PhD student at the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, UCL and tutoring provided an excellent option to keep up with the fundamentals of chemistry and also provide an alternative source of income without going out of the field of chemistry and academics in general.

What is your approach to tutoring?

The idea is to present the concepts of science and maths in the simplest possible manner to the students. Personally, I feel that it is very important to be interactive and make the sessions more interesting for the students by involving them in discussions. This way they not only understand it easily but it also gives them a massive confidence in that particular subject.

What do you like about teaching in schools?

It is a different and a very good experience and I enjoy the classroom environment the most. This also provides the opportunity to tutor to a mass of students rather than just one student. I enjoy the challenge of keeping the whole class at the same level and making sure that they all are following the lesson. Further, the students are already mentally prepared to learn as they are at school and it makes the task slightly easy.

What are the main differences in your opinion of in home and in school tuition?

The key difference is the environment and the surrounding. The classroom set-up and the presence of peers for the students make it obvious for the students to be willing to focus. It makes the students get out of their comfort zone that they would otherwise experience at home. This makes them more disciplined and allows them to focus only on the learning. As a tutor or a teacher, it is very important to make sure that you focus on every student in the class and make sure that the entire class in on board with the lesson.

What do you think works particularly well with pupils?

In my experience, dialogue works the best. The last thing you want is to lose the focus of your students, or even worse, the focus of some of the students, as they then tend to disturb the whole class. The students feel more confident and it promotes active contributions in the class from each of the students.

Tell us about a lesson that went really well, why was it so good?

My experience at Hatch End High School was very good. I was tutoring a class of chemistry students who were preparing for their AS-level exams it was an extra study session offered by the school on a Saturday. The particular lesson in discussion was towards the end in a series of lessons over a few weeks. We had already gone through the entire syllabus again and were focused on past exam papers and exam techniques. The whole class of around 15 students was very lively, active and extremely focused. They wanted to do well in their exams and it showed in the questions they asked. We went through a few papers and the questions were specific to exam techniques and how to write better answers and understand the questions in the first place. I felt very good with that lesson as I hope that I taught them how to perform well with the resources that they already have. The idea of applying the knowledge in an exam was discussed and as a tutor, the comments from the students were very positive and satisfying.


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