Adam Muckle, President of The Tutors’ Association, reflects on the story of Chatterbox and how its influence is spreading across the tutoring industry.
It is rare to find such a story among all the things that are going on in tutoring, and Chatterbox is genuinely good news for this sector; tutoring should be available to all and can make such a great impact on a person’s life, no matter what their background.
What is unique here is that the focus isn’t just on the student, but on the journey for the tutor as well. I was moved by the sense of worth and belonging that Chatterbox was giving to those professionally qualified refugees who were coming to the UK. Arriving here they could potentially be vulnerable to feeling isolated and powerless; Chatterbox is giving them a new kind of opportunity.
I know what it feels like coming to a new country (even if it’s only from Northern Ireland to England!) and the challenge of fitting in to a new culture. Furthermore, before I started tutoring, I qualified as a barrister and found out just how incredibly competitive it was to enter professional practice. When a legal friend recommended tutoring to me, that was my ‘road to Damascus’ moment in what became a new career path.
As President of The Tutors’ Association it is my role, and the role of tutoring’s professional body as a whole, to reflect, lead and broaden the narrative of tutoring. After asking its Founder Mursal to speak at our Annual Conference to share her inspirational Chatterbox story, it was a pleasure to award Chatterbox with membership of the Association. It is no surprise to me that Chatterbox is winning awards for social entrepreneurship and doing so well. They are both a credit and an inspiration to the profession.