Pupils, Teachers and Heads often want to know more the tutors behind our Maths tuition online that they speak to every week. What’s it like to be on the other side of the world teaching national curriculum Maths to primary school pupils in England? All Third Space Learning Tutors are trained Maths specialists who undertake continuous professional training to keep up-to-date and improve their performance as one-to-one tutors. They are also passionate about helping young people and full of enthusiasm for the job they do.

Looking to run your own 1-to-1 Maths intervention? Our free resource has all you need to plan, manage and teach 1-to-1 (and small group) intervention, in a more cost effective way

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Third Space Learning Guide to Effective 1-to-1 Interventions

How to plan, manage and teach 1-to-1 and small group KS2 Maths interventions to make best use of the resources you have

I wake up at about 6.00am in the morning (1.30am BST). After I help my mother prepare meals for breakfast and lunch, I have a chat with my father who misses me because I am working UK hours. In order to be ready to teach British pupils during their school day, I work from 12pm to 9.30pm Sri Lanka time (8.30am-5pm BST).

After a busy morning, I leave home at 10.45am (6.15am BST) as I have to travel far to reach the tutor centre and traffic, even at this hour, can be fierce. I travel by bus to the tutor centre. I arrive at work around 11.30am (7.00am BST). There are always a few other tutors around chatting and preparing for their lessons.

Recap on last week

Before our daily morning meeting, I try my best to get ready for my lessons by reminding myself of each pupil’s interests and the progress they made in last week’s session.

At 12.00pm (7.30am BST) we all have a short briefing for the day from Richard Lloyd who, after many years as a deputy headteacher in the UK, is very helpful at answering any questions we have about the schools and providing new teaching tips.

We then rush to our stations to connect our computers,  prepare the classroom and check what the first pupil’s lesson will be. My team leader will spend a few minutes checking that the sessions are all set up and running properly. We all work well together, as there must be close communication between him and the rest of the team.

Adapting to different pupils

The tutors are excited to say hello to our pupils each week, who are all so different in character! I try to engage my pupils by using alternate types of teaching techniques, depending on which type they respond to best. I really enjoy teaching them and helping them learn.

Time for reflection and preparation

At 4.30pm (12.00pm BST)  we have a break in the cafeteria and some typical Sri Lankan food, for example Shwarma which is roast chicken wrapped in pita bread.

As I deliver morning sessions, I spend the rest of the day preparing for tomorrow’s lessons. During this time, I reflect on how today’s online Maths tuition went to help improve my teaching and share thoughts with my colleagues. We have regular team meetings with Roshan and Luke, who are both former UK Maths teachers. We share our experiences, discuss areas for improvement and  brainstorm ideas for future lessons.

Even though I am tired, I am happy when I leave the workplace as I feel confident about tomorrow’s lessons. Right before I leave, I make sure the room is clean and that my desk is organised. The best way to start a new day is with a clean workplace.

I go home at 9.00pm, in transport that is provided by Third Space, after a very busy day. I am happy to know that I am helping children learn and I can feel the happiness from teaching.

Dilma Jayawardena

Interested in finding out more about the further training and skills our tutors must have? Click here to learn more

Looking to start Maths interventions in your primary school, but can’t decide what would fit best in your context? Download this handy Maths interventions checklist and find out where to start.

Ed Salton , Teacher , Third Space Learning

Ed works hand in hand with our Maths specialist tutors to provide education that improves lives (and attainment!) to as many pupils as possible in the UK.