Rupert Pearson is a specialist ADHD teacher. He is also a giftedness mentor, a SEN mentor, an ADHD educational therapist and a teacher of generalist and of twice exceptional home schooling. Rupert is experienced at working with students at all ages and stages, from Early Years through postgraduate, communicating reassuringly and with good humour, age-appropriately and personality-appropriately. Particular interests of his include facilitating learning with ADHD, with commonly co-occurring needs—such as giftedness, fatigue or related neurodevelopmental conditions—as well as with context-specific challenges, such as ‘maths anxiety’, dysfunctional perfectionism or just learning in English with EAL. Rupert supports all essential study and execution skills, from phonics, handwriting and early numeracy to writing essays, timing exams, working independently and communicating in groups. He continually adds new subject curricula and levels, examination and admission criteria, pedagogies and educational therapies to his practice.
Heightening a lesson’s sense of wonder with excitement, or with compassion and humour, frequently provides a tutee with the enervation they long for; but not for every tutee. To a sizeable minority of students, tried and tested infusions of passion, surprise and experiential discovery can make a lesson feel distastefully domineering, or overwhelming, puzzling or even alarming, calling in such cases for a cooler, more regular or reassuring approach, with a somewhat more camouflaged teacher involvement, more like good classroom-teaching. The point this argues is this: tutoring that makes the big difference reaches out and seizes not only learning content and learning method but also lesson mood and rapport, and, by a process of planning and adjustment, fully and finely gears all these parts to the needs of that individual student, resulting in tutoring programmes that are entirely individualised. Partly, thus, by ‘intelligent design’, but chiefly, by ‘just recognising’ the natural selection and allowing it, the student’s own spontaneous and fluid responses to challenge will speak for themselves, commanding of the teacher whatever changes they have seen fit.
Except, there is no “just recognising” about it. This demands heavily of assessment.
Education’s beating heart—the classroom and class teacher—offers much that one-to-one tuition can never attempt; however, tuition does have one edge. One-to-one teaching allows lavish, fluent formative assessment that is also precise, rich and certain: assessment that explores a student’s foundational and contextual concepts and assumptions as easily as it explores their hopes and fears: assessment by means of Strategic Rapport. Strategic rapport uses reflective listening that actually teaches, engaging and hopefully fascinating the learner through rich, challenging open questioning, that dares and rewards the tutee with agency, even as it provides the teacher with all the formative assessment that could be wished for. Strategic Rapport is necessarily collegial and benevolent in character, further helping the learner personally identify with an approach to studying that is intuitive by design, rationally adaptive, objective-focused but curiosity-driven, and that promotes excellence as aspiration and responsibility as valued prize. Of course, although Strategic Rapport remains advisory and mentoring in style whenever possible, clear and reassuring, memorably structured interludes of instruction are readily adopted, upon necessity.
To this style of tutoring and mentoring, Rupert Pearson will add, where appropriate, educational therapies / therapeutic learning (addressing ‘maths anxiety’, say), metacognitions (Does knowing your mind tell you or mislead you about a character’s mind? Or the author’s mind? How about your teacher’s mind?), relevant epistemologies (What pertinent differences exist between ‘explain’, ‘analyse’, ‘evaluate’ and ‘discuss’? And why does the examiner want you to know?) or personalised psychoeducation (How might neurological theories of ADHD inform compelling and profitable future planning, for you?) maintaining the most effectual blend of modalities for unfolding student and parental requirements.