Sue F Farmer

Info-Graphic CV – click on the images to enlarge! The Information is Private and Copyright stays with the Blog Owner. Please respect this fact.

Micro Self Employed Business

I created a Private Tutor and Lifestyle micro business to work with Aim Higher Education Students, Parents and the Community.

This involved tutoring students in their home and working on other areas of confidence boosting for both parents and the local area community on perceptions of equality in terms of achieving qualifications in traditional ‘blue collar areas’. These areas are not anti learning, they are very astute in terms of what is in their Community best interest and very quick to perceive trends and respond – but in terms of deferred gratification investing in years of study for their offspring rather than the hope of a salary or wage, not quite as committed.

The local area in Nottingham, UK has suffered from Multinational and National Company closures and employment downsizing. Education is Comprehensive and previously the area, although pleasant to live in, was primarily factory orientated where night school and progression through the workplace was more usual and accepted by all, employers, parents, teachers alike.

I have successfully tutored students in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Derby-Derbyshire and saw significantly improved grades from mock examination results and also improvements in confidence with English and Mathematics at Key Stage levels.

This personal micro business ended in 2012 after lots of hard work with the cessation of the Education Maintenance payments, when mine and many other tuition companies and referral agencies had to close as the Government support to parents with students over 16 ended. In 2015 this has changed to compulsory Education to age 18.

I tutored most subjects except Modern Foreign Languages and Science from Junior to Undergrad level and found students via agencies. I explored taking an agency franchise and evaluated its potential.

I made digital resources and kept up to date with the new innovations in the internet and office programmes.

For example I purchased a suite of Serif Digital software programmes, including webdesign publishing and art-photography and an animation studio programme as they are more accessible price wise for students and have the same features as Adobe which are prohibitively expensive for ordinary families to purchase at home and which are used in Schools. I evaluated and learnt these to use with ICT teaching and to make resources. Ovbiously students should not have to learn two systems but the essential html and css style sheets for example are the same in web design no matter how the front end programme interfaces with the user.

I learnt the basics of search engine optimisation for Google with keywords (now changed and discarded) and online web creation for information online and e-commerce. At this time the Business Studies curriculum required a student to plan their own small Business and create a Business Plan. ICT Edexcel DIDA required making a basic website so these skills transferred to teaching.

I Evaluated the Serif programmes and passed this information onto students and particularly parents to show how they could find affordable solutions to the programmes used in schools (which are essentially the same but prohibitively expensive) could be. At the same time I could research other avenues of making a living by potentially creating online resources for a Tutoring Agency and their Franchisees. The research I did with one agency for potentially being their online administrator was significant but not an area I pursued as their Agency name required changing to be accepted in the Teaching world and online – A useful exercise which saved the price of a Franchise which would not have been suitable.

I also evaluated the online advertised media creation sites – and found that using online web creation sites can be expensive, after designing with a couple of well known online websites where the template was already made (Namesco and Vistaprint) and hosting (local hosting companies), I found the online design companies were potentially capable of charging 1p per click and so changed to WordPress.com where the blog-websites are free.

There a many prescribed themes in wordpress and the option of learning wordpress.org which is comprehensive in its website building plugins. Some of these online options are sophisticated and others user friendly depending on the type of reader or genre. This was an important part of my small tutoring business – to evaluate how it could potentially grow and maybe become an Agency in its own right.

Media Studies and Marketing and Computing are the newest areas for students to learn and the home background philosophy towards the Internet as well as safety online for young people has a huge range in families. Any research could be useful in communicating with students and parents who may be more computer orientated than myself.

As another focus I evaluated trying to create online resources such as an online text book style website – My small business began at the same time as Tutor2u – which now a comprehensively wide ranging ALevel online resource but I chose to focus on one to one tuition.

Orientating with the families is essential. For example it should also be said that learning to work with Social Media and information gathering for work or study – that isn’t just for personal communication and entertainment purposes is a difficult concept for any teenager, as they are completely steeped in Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – on the other hand its also quite amusing to know that some basic websites you may come across in searching the internet could just be student made sites with completely fictitious info! An aim was to setup a showcase website for the Nottingham UK Schools website development contributions, possibly even as saleable copies.

Basic one to one Reading, Writing and exploration of any subject being studied or to be chosen for qualification levels is so important as Specifications are online and there are many to choose from – and institutions often don’t have the Specification that is the one in the minds of parents and students. This means a choice of Institution particularly at ALevel.

    I prefer to work with the student to create the ability to pass written examinations. Each subject has many Key Terms and Textbook Chapter questions which can be thoroughly discussed and questions answered and this is my preferred method of one to one tuition and it brings results.

In this decade it has become very important for an individual to have the necessary skills to access information and resources and put them together quickly to use in either studies, research or employment and these are good transferable skill to take on to University, College or Work. This is still a textbook and reading and writing based competence and requires practice.

However, this local East Midlands community has always been prepared to learn new technology and their collective way of perceiving what they need to learn and communicate it, to be competitive, is to be fast and ‘on the ball’ as quickly as possible. To this end traditional learning can be forgotten e.g. Youtube and video learning. Tremendously important but not required in Linear examinations. It has enabled me to have a small Tuition Business for 5 years which can now be re-started in 2015 focusing on going back to basics.

My own focus is similar to the question of having the ability to type at 70-100 wpm is a key skill but unaccepted in examinations. I am no exception having gained my Degree and Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education as a mature student having to write reams and being denied the use of just a manual typewriter which could have doubled my output in 3 hours.

We are all on a Lifelong Learning curve and keeping up with emerging information, versions and updating is becoming a new and very important skill whereas Reading and Writing are equally important and should not be forgotten.

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We (the local community) are Telecommunications and Chemical Industry based, and the local Engineers invented Fibre Optic Cable in some way to further telecommunications. We had the first bicycles and made ground breaking medicines after research, Derby City has Rolls Royce designing and manufacturing Aerospace Engines and other equipment. Parents can expect a great deal of their offspring and be very demanding of them.

I spent 20 years in Administration/support – Insurance, Assurance, Finance both New Business and Credit Control as well as the Telecoms Industry with Quality Administration and YTS (Youth Training Scheme) liaison. It was a practical decision to have a Micro Tuition Company.

I am qualified to Teach, Tutor or Train to undergraduate or HND level. I am not an Assessor. I am happy to pass on my commitment to students at all levels being given the opportunity for qualifications and move on towards further education.

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