“I’m on a mission to help young people thrive in their education and take control of their future“
My name is Lucy Aditi and I believe that education should help, not harm. Sadly, this doesn’t always seem to be the case: working in the state education sector, I’m all too aware of the scarcity of resources to support students when they need it most. Independents bring their own set of challenges: students report feeling huge pressure to meet high expectations generated by the simple act of exchanging money for learning. The education system throughout much of the world doesn’t cater for individual difference either – classrooms and exams don’t suit everyone – and much anxiety is created by forcing square pegs into round holes.
So how are young people supposed to navigate this obstacle course? And how can we, as parents and educators, help them to do it? Is there a way for them to thrive rather than just survive?
I believe there is a way. Like many people, I entered the education profession intending to change it from the inside. During my early career as a secondary school teacher, I was able to make a small but positive impact on individual lives, but of course had very little power to affect the bigger picture. Progressing to a management role in a successful Sixth Form College, my ability to influence policy for a large student cohort skyrocketed. I established a wellbeing programme, introduced mindfulness lessons and developed a way of identifying potentially vulnerable students before problems occurred, ensuring that resources were focused on supporting those who needed it most. I spent almost as much time interacting with parents as with students, giving advice when needed and helping parents understand how to support their children through the learning journey.
What does The Life Tutor offer?
My bigger focus now, as The Life Tutor, is working alongside the education system, helping students who are struggling (for whatever reason), to stay in education, to succeed and perhaps even to enjoy it! My case histories include teenagers living with mental health issues, students who are Maths-phobic, people with family problems, young adults lacking motivation or direction and many who are simply stressed or overwhelmed by it all. The Life Tutor’s coaching programme, Ride the Waves, is designed especially for people aged 14-21 and can be delivered face-to-face or online. It’s based on many years of experience working in student guidance; nothing a young person presents with can faze or shock me!
Of course it’s not all down to the students. Teenagers might not need babysitters (and they might not thank you for ‘intruding’ in their lives) but they need guidance and support from parents and carers now more than ever. The trouble is, we often feel excluded from their world and it can be difficult to know how to help. That’s where The Life Tutor’s Reconnect events for parents come in. I want to empower you just as much as your child, so that you can grow together, building a new and more equal kind of relationship that will continue through your child’s adult life.
My own life story adds to my understanding of what students are facing. Things haven’t always been easy, so I am able to empathise and often speak from direct, lived experience. When I was younger, I thought that life was supposed to go according to plan and that when things went wrong there had been some kind of cosmic mistake! Now I know that life, however outwardly successful, will throw stuff at us, but I am a real believer that we can learn to deal more effectively with whatever that is. My favourite quote is from Jon Kabat-Zinn, the man who brought mindfulness to the attention of Western science: You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. I live my life by this motto and I help my students to do so too.
Equipped with tools that help them thrive in their education and ride the waves of inevitable disappointment and difficulty, young people can maximise their portfolio of qualifications, whatever their level, and thereby increase the choices available to them in the future. (It’s important to realise that success looks different for different people.) Those tools, of resilience, stress management, flexibility, self-soothing, motivation and organisation are the very same that will enable them to glide through their adult life in a way that looks effortless to those not in the know.
Support for all
I want everyone to have this advantage, not just those lucky enough to have the resources to access additional support. With that in mind, The Life Tutor’s Social Enterprise Plan includes working pro bono with vulnerable or underprivileged young people in schools and in the community. This essential work is supported by the majority who can find the funds to participate in coaching or online programmes, or even just to buy a printed resource.
At its heart, The Life Tutor is about living life to the full and enjoying the freedom that comes with having a sense of control over our own destiny. I have been helping young people overcome challenges and reach their potential since 1999 and I’m just getting started!
How you can work with me
I love discovering new opportunities to work with people, whether one-to-one, through online programmes or as a consultant or speaker at an event. For an informal chat about how I can help you, call me on the banana phone (07714 195018) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just leave a comment if you’d like to stay up to date with the latest hints and tips from The Life Tutor’s world.