Maia - Students of Inspiration Education

How Maia transformed her attitude and structure around learning.


“Tutoring has dramatically improved Maia’s ability to learn and keep on task”

– Grant, Father of Maia, Year 13 Student, Wellington.

Early in 2017, Maia* floated the idea of tutoring to her father Grant*, and convinced him to look into paying for her tuition with Inspiration Education. She was struggling with the competitive, high-pressure learning environment at her school, and had seen the results that her some of peers had achieved through tutoring with Inspiration Education.

Grant was apprehensive about paying money for tutoring for his daughter, because until then, he’d always thought tutoring was reserved for students who were struggling or below average in their class. However, after looking into Inspiration Education, Grant was impressed by our program’s structure, core values, and focus on changing a student’s perspective on education.

Maia wanted someone to cater their teaching to her needs on a week-to-week basis. Grant liked that Inspiration Education tutors have been through the NCEA system recently and can offer different benefits from conventional teaching, by catering their lessons to the needs of each individual student. He wanted a tutor that was able to act as mentor to his daughter, and help navigate her learning difficulties in ways that parents and teachers could not.

What we did
Our Customer Engagement Manager, Sarah, created a profile for Maia based on her interests, learning difficulties and goals – and used this information to find some potential matches from our diverse Wellington Team.

Once a suitable match was chosen, Jordan, the two parties arranged a good time for the first meet-and-greet. This 30-minute lesson allowed Jordan to introduce himself to Maia, learn a bit more about her personality and academic goals, and to work out a viable plan for moving forward.

After this initial meeting, Jordan designed a detailed action-plan that outlined the areas he was aiming to tackle with Maia, and what strategies they would implement to help her overcome her learning roadblocks.

Jordan recognised that Maia had done relatively well in her previous year, however, she was somewhat disappointed with her grades, particularly in comparison to her high-achieving friends. Jordan noticed that Maia was skilled in recognising and recalling information in familiar contexts, but had not yet mastered her ability to apply existing knowledge to new scenarios (a skill that is especially important for exams). Maia also identified procrastination as the biggest obstacle to her learning: a challenge Jordan was eager to help her overcome through their weekly lessons.

Maia’s roadblocks and how they were addressed in tutoring:
ProcrastinationPlacing a focus on goals, and accomplishing them is small “process goals” throughout the year, as well as studying in short bursts to train an internal sense of motivation.
Self-managementExploring a variety of different study systems for Maia to use to set weekly goals and have smaller goals to reach.
Trouble with applying her learning to meet the marking criteria When learning new information, Jordan placed an emphasis on how to apply it in an exam, and to be able to decipher what the marker wants.

Results on Maia’s learning
Maia is in her final year of High School and undergoing NCEA level 3, with regular weekly tutoring sessions with Jordan, the action plan is being applied in every lesson. This regularity of positive learning strategies has developed Maia’s confidence in her abilities, both at school and beyond.

Grant has seen tangible changes in Maia’s ability to stay focused. With Jordan’s support, Maia’s study techniques have improved exponentially: she’s now able to structure her studying independently to keep ahead of her assignment deadlines.

Tutoring has also alleviated Maia’s struggles with procrastination. Jordan worked with Maia to ensure she recognised patterns of procrastination before they took shape, and helped to turn toxic thoughts (comparison to her peers) into productive ones (the drive to succeed). In lessons, Jordan has placed an emphasis on splitting big goals into smaller tasks to ensure he keeps Maia’s interest in the topic to maximise the effectiveness of the weekly sessions.

“Maia has become really intrinsically motivated from the progress she’s made, and has challenged herself to get excellences and scholarships”
– Jordan

Jordan has been proud of Maia’s new-found confidence in her ability to succeed in her final year at high school. He believes that tutoring has given Maia the resources that she needed to believe in her abilities and to overcome the obstacles she originally expressed in the meet and greet session.

Grant believes that it wasn’t so much the content that was important in Maia’s case, but more her ability to learn and approach learning with the right attitude. Tutoring has provided Maia with the resources and support to thrive in her education, helped to create a solid foundation on how to best approach assignments, and then apply these strategies more widely in her life.

*Real names not used.

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