Phillip Baldock is a qualified Special Education Teacher, Learning Coach, Mentor and Tutor, and the director of Small Steps Learning. Small Steps Learning provide various education supports, life and study skills and support for those with special needs. If you’ve used this service before, you can also review it here.

Personally, I have always enjoyed relating to people as individuals and learning about ways people can develop. Teaching groups seemed a natural fit for me, and it was for some time. It was through working in classrooms and schools as a special education teacher that I realised how complex each person and their needs are. I also realised that schools cannot always meet all the needs of each individual. That is why Small Steps Learning offers an intimate, personalised learning experience. I prefer to establish a relationship with the student and their family and make learning a team effort.

Simply, Small Steps Learning is a tutoring service for students with additional needs. The range of students catered for is extensive, including high intelligence, high anxiety, high energy, hyperactivity, sensory issues, a diagnosis, brain injury, dyslexia, Down Syndrome, hearing impairment, mobility challenges, motivation attention, memory or any combination of these.

Through this work, I have seen how additional attention and support for a child with a developmental delay or disability can often be an essential part of any education plan. A trained tutor can benefit your child in many ways, especially through the use of assistive technology.

  1. Your child and the tutor develop a positive, close learning relationship, which will assist your child to develop more confidence and ask questions about their learning.
  2. One-to-one tutoring allows your child to work on their weaknesses in private without distraction at their own pace.
  3. Students are more motivated and engaged because they are directly involved in the planning of sessions which include their special interests and personal rewards.
  4. The tutor models good reading comprehension skills and provides listening opportunities for the benefit of each student.
  5. Tutors will provide tips on how your child learns best, studies best, and will prepare him/her for exams.
  6. Each tutor will share strategies for reducing stress and anxiety. This will enable the student to be available for more learning.
  7. Close collaboration between parents, clinicians, and school will benefit each child and their learning outcomes.
  8. The student experiences less frustration (negative behaviours) when working with a tutor one to one. The tutor is able to tailor the homework task to match the students ability.
  9. Attention and concentration on each task improves with one-to-one support as there is a lot less distraction.
  10. Assistive technology is a key tool used in our sessions. I love my iphone and use it during each session in many ways: timing sessions and rest breaks (learning sessions should not go for long periods of time and needs to include time to rest and reflect). Siri is my best teaching assistant and can find the meaning of words and other valuable information quickly. The camera and video are effective ways of recording progress and make it easy to give feedback to carers. Having music, Youtube learning clips, games, calculators and audio books at your finger tips makes learning fast and fun for everyone.

These are just 10 of the benefits one-to-one tutoring/coaching provides there are many more. Tutoring works for all students, not only those with learning difficulties. Take a small step today and help your child today and into the future.

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