Last month, adult learners in England and Wales celebrated their learning achievements, seeing for themselves the impact learning has on communities and taking part in hundreds of events to mark the UK’s largest festival of adult learning.
NIACE, the organisation behind Adult Learners’ Week, has got together this year with the Institute for Learning and awarding organisation NOCN to celebrate the skills, expertise and dedication of teachers, trainers and tutors across the lifelong learning sector. For NEC’s learners, tutors make all the difference – the difference between superficial understanding and deep knowledge, between giving up and carrying on, between self-doubt and proud confidence.
An exceptional distance teaching tutor needs to build up good 1:1 relationships with learners without ever meeting them in person. Many learners who choose to study at a distance lack self-confidence and have not had positive experiences in the school system. Others may be isolated because of illness or being in an institution such as a prison.
Phillip Taylor, NEC’s lead tutor for law at GCSE and A level and with a distinguished career as a Barrister at Law, is just one of many exceptional NEC tutors. He has worked with us for over 20 years and understands from personal experience the challenges faced by people who return to learning once their years of compulsory education are behind them, as this short film made by the University of London shows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfRbeVkzT84
The student support team at NEC values Phillip and knows that he has a passion for his subject, always going above and beyond to help a student. This can mean photocopying articles and posting them to learners, telephone calls, motivational emails and careful feedback on their work. Phillip has made a difference to many learners’ lives, having tutored more than 1,000 students so far.
The words of three of the NEC students Phillip has taught over the years give an insight into why he is so highly regarded. Sophie Garthwaite says: ‘I consider myself lucky to have studied law with Phillip. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of legal matters and his quick and insightful responses to my work were always encouraging and positive. He has inspired me to develop a keen interest in law.’
Elliot Stevens, who took his A levels last year, is one of a growing number of students who has made use of NEC’s courses while being home-educated. Now in his first year of studying for a degree in law at Robinson College, University of Cambridge he says: ‘Phillip is a brilliant tutor who pays close attention to the individual needs of his student and passes on his genuine interest in and enthusiasm for his subject.’
It takes courage and determination for people who had a difficult time at school to return to learning. For them, the relationship with the tutor is particularly important. Cathal Charker says: ‘Phillip Taylor gave me the confidence to succeed where the education system did not. He was tirelessly supportive and encouraging, sending me articles and advice regularly. I am truly grateful for what he did to help me and on top of that I got a great result – all thanks to Phillip.’
To all NEC tutors, our thanks on behalf of learners for your work in transforming their lives.
If you want to find out more about NEC, our dedicated team and the work we do, or to browse our full range of flexible distance learning courses, visit our website. You can keep up to date with all the latest NEC news and events by subscribing to our email newsletter or following our blog. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.