John Bald: What teachers can learn from tutors

John Bald is a former Ofsted inspector and has written two books on the history of writing and spelling. He is a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Education Society.

I am, much of the time, a tutor, the least prestigious role in education. Real teachers work in classrooms, teach 30 pupils, and handle the discipline. Anybody can teach just one. Tutors were once known as “crammers”, tasked with getting their pupils through examinations that were designed to weed them out. Stretching a point, I often think of Churchill’s comment on Robert Somervell, “- a most delightful man, to whom my debt is great – who was charged with the duty of teaching the stupidest boys the most disregarded thing – namely, to write mere English.” Churchill was retained in his small class for three years. Who among us could claim as much as to have taught Churchill to compose an English sentence?

Source: John Bald: What teachers can learn from tutors

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