Seeking All Old Girls who are Interested in Being a Tutor: Be Inspired like Grace Harries

Somerville House Old Girls' Association is pleased to work collaboratively with the school to advertise opportunities for Old Girls who are interested in Tutoring current Somerville House students.  Here is the link to fill in the application form A link to our portal and list of available Tutors will be available in the school newsletter from Week One of Term 4 for any interested parents to access details of Tutors  Please read the below inspiring story of Grace Harries illustrating the rewarding nature of Tutoring.

Grace Harries graduated from Somerville House in 2016 and tutors four current girls and says that helping students recognise the relationship between their personality, study habits and outcomes is what makes every session enjoyable. 

Grace recalls being on the receiving end of excellent tutoring during her senior years at Somerville.

“Not only did my tutors assist me with my subject learning and my assessment, but what was most valuable was the way I was taught to recognise that my personality directly determines my study habits and my strengths and weaknesses at school,” she says. Grace Harries Somerville House Old Girl

Grace’s journey as a tutor and tutee has been an important one, helping her identify the effect that mental health and wellbeing has on studying – and the importance of subsequently managing expectations of ourselves in response.

“Recognising that everyone is different and learns differently allowed me to harness techniques and develop habits that were enhanced my innate skills, while teaching me how to manage my less desirable habits,” Grace says. 

“When I left school, I applied for a job with the principal of this tutoring business, Julia Clifford (founder of Mentor2Me), who helped me transfer what I had experienced as a tutee into skills as a tutor/mentor. Although my job has led to me to tutor a variety of students, Somerville girls have always such a pleasure to tutor, as they remind me of myself as a Somerville girl, and my experience with the assessment requirements really helps. 

“What I enjoy most about my work is not just seeing a student succeed as a result, but more so the positive feedback I receive about some of the study techniques that I suggest and how they have changed the way the student approaches or thinks about study.”

Grace juggles study and tutoring with another casual job. As tutoring sessions are generally in demand in afternoons, she is able to obtain shifts with her other job in mornings and weekends. 

“Every semester when my university contact hours change, tutoring allows me to easily move around my session times throughout the week. I love the diversity that tutoring brings to be work/university schedule; it is one of the most enjoyable parts of my week, as it allows me to ‘switch off’ from my university study and help another student with their work,” she said.

 Grace is studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social Science dual degree, majoring in International Relations and Development, with plans to undertake an Honours thesis in 2021 to further her studies. Her own academic journey has highlighted the importance of collaborative learning. 

“In school, I always knew I wanted to do this degree, purely because of how interested I am in its content - I absolutely love learning about new things. Clearly, this pathway doesn’t have the most direct employment outcomes like other degrees have, but I think, above all else, my three years at university so far have taught me how to think, how to write and how to communicate with respect and understanding of other’s experiences and points of view,” Grace says.

“I don’t know exactly where this will lead me, but I am interested in private sector development work, in relation to creating positive impact solutions. To develop more tangible skills to do this, I hope to undertake a Graduate Certificate in Project Management after I complete my honours program, as well as apply for a UN internship somewhere along the line. At the moment, I am soaking up everything that UQ offers and learning as much as I can!”

My time at Somerville truely helped shaped who I am as a student and a person. As a tutor, my communication skills and my ability to relate to and understand students has definitely been influenced by my relationships and experiences with some wonderful Somerville teachers, as well as the school’s emphasis on respecting others and appreciating that there is often more to them than meets the eye. 

Grace’s Tips For Tutors

Most of my skills have come from over 2 years of tutoring experience, as you learn how to manage different behaviours and personality types, as well as how to build positive rapport with students quickly, as this is one of the most important parts of being a tutor. 

•    In the beginning, it helped to think ‘what didn’t I like about my experience with tutors in school?’ or I would put myself in the shoes of the student to get a better understanding of what they need. 

•    Getting along with your tutee really allows for them to feel more comfortable trusting you and opening up to you about their concerns to do with their study habits and outcomes. 

•    I would also recommend signing on as a tutor with a company if you can, as they can help manage the parent’s and student’s expectations of your work more effectively, as well as provide you with guidance when you aren’t sure how you can help your student. 

Remember to fill in an application for here if you would like Tutoring work with current students

Here is the link to List of Current Old Girls available for Tutoring work that will be advertised in the school newsletter for current parents. 

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