As a teacher, I once taught a boy called Jay*.
Jay was lovely; a 5 year-old bundle of energy who lit up our classroom.
He was also a flipping nightmare to get work out of.
If I sat beside him he could get on.
If I moved to the table next to his, his work slowed dramatically.
If I went to the other side of the classroom, he might as well have stayed at home.
This wasn’t naughtiness though.
Jay’s additional needs meant he needed regular reminders of what we were learning and the work he had to do.
If you’re a teacher then you’ll know Jay; you’ve taught him many times too.
You’ll also know that Jay is not alone. Many children need our supportive prompts and quiet re-teaching of key learning.
Of course, children like Jay make up only a fraction of the classes we teach.
The reality is that for every child to reach their potential, their learning needs must be met too.
It might be for consolidation.
At times it will be for extension.
Occasionally it’s because they’ve just come back from the dentist and have no idea what’s going on.
These are challenges of personalisation and connection.
For every child to make the progress of which they are truly capable, they need their teacher sat next to them, guiding and pushing their learning in every moment of every lesson.
I left education and founded a company because I could see that technology, if it were designed to enhance the way that teachers teach, could deliver this level of personalisation and connection.
I could also see that there was a desperate need to bring schools together, to share knowledge and expertise across phases and sectors.
I left education to take what I’d learned and build it into a platform that enabled teachers to give teaching the reach their learners need.
In doing so, we’ve built a uniquely powerful teaching community that is working together, including everyone and reducing workload too
The teachers we work with often refer to their ability to be teaching in multiple ways and multiple places as amazing and the impact as revolutionary.
It allows them to support, guide and extend their learners wherever they are; next to them, on the next table or lately, at home.
YouTeachMe doesn’t solve a pandemic-driven remote learning problem; it solves a much bigger problem, one that’s always existed in classrooms, that the pandemic has simply exposed.
Mr Paul Rose (previously a teacher)
*not his real name