Meet the Tutors – Jasmina Harrar

Harry Mav: Hi Jasmina, thank you for your time today!! So let’s get right into it, what do you spend most of your time doing in life?

Jasmina Harrar: Thank you Harry! So as well as tutoring at the Earlwood Centre I am in my final year of Commerce and Law, and I try to squeeze in as much recreation in there as I can!

HM: How are you enjoying your course?

JH: I love it! It has been very challenging and definitely keeps me on my toes but it has really confirmed that I want to pursue my career in law going forward! There’s always a lot to juggle but I find if I keep on top of everything and plan effectively then it all ends well.

HM: Amazing! Ok and what subjects have you been tutoring the past few years?

JH: I’ve been tutoring students in English, Economics and Legal studies. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time tutoring, it’s great to be in an environment where every time you do a session it’s a different experience, a unique opportunity to support one of my students!

HM: It is great indeed! And you’ve preferred younger or older students?

JH: Both have been very rewarding but I must say the older students, especially the HSC students. I feel I can make so much of a difference in such a short time!

HM: And indeed that you have done! And finally what is it that you are usually doing in these recreation hours?

JH: There aren’t many but basically Oz tag, dance classes and personal training, specifically weight lifting. The weight lifting in particular I’ve enjoyed because I can set myself a goal and take actions to achieve a very measurable result! COVID has changed all this the past few weeks but I’m still trying to find the right balance in life as much as possible.

Meet the Tutors – Kerryanne Syros

Harry Mav: Hi Kerryanne, thank you for taking the time out to have a chat today! So tell us a bit about yourself!

Kerryanne Syros: Hi Harry, of course! I’m in my final year of a Bachelor of Education / Bachelor of Arts at UNSW majoring in English and Legal Studies. And I have been very lucky to be tutoring at First Education for the last four years!

HM: Ah we’ve been lucky to have you! And what subjects and year levels to you tutor?

KS: Well obviously English and Legal Studies (that’s what I’m studying to teach) but also Business Studies and Modern History. And over the years I’ve taken students of all year levels from K to Year 12, I’ve enjoyed both the younger and older students! Any time when I feel like the student thinks they can’t do something but then we work at it and they suddenly surprise themselves – that’s the best!

HM: 100%! And what are your plans for the future?

KS: Well I want to either start full time teaching next year or even do further studies in Education. It has been an amazing experience supporting and extending students and I would love to delve into it further!

HM: Amazing! And when you’re not studying or tutoring what do you do?

KS: Hehe there isn’t a lot of that time but I guess when I have free time I go to dance classes or to the gym. I’m also getting into interior and exterior design, even architecture!

HM: Ah that’s pretty cool!! And finally have you noticed that COVID has had a big impact on your life this past year?

KS: Not really. I’ve just kept my head down and worked and studied!

Meet the Tutors – Aaron Kostantakis

Harry Mav: Hi Aaron, great to see you today! So let’s start with your studies, what degree are you doing at the moment?

Aaron Kostantakis: Hi Harry, so I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation / Bachelor of Business at UTS in my final year. I really enjoy it, it sounds like a mouthful but it’s all about solving problems that require out of the box solutions.

HM: That sounds super cool! And what do you do outside of uni?

AK: Well I’ve been trying to get into the workforce, I recently did an internship with Deloitte which was really invaluable. Outside of work I try to get involved in as many activities as possible but specifically I’m very into skiing when the weather permits, and spear fishing! My Dad introduced me to spear fishing and it’s something I really enjoy!

HM: Great to hear! And this is your fifth year of tutoring I believe, what subjects and Year levels do you tutor?

AK: I tutor English for all students (Primary and High School) and Maths for Primary school students. I love both maths and English but really I love getting to know students and understanding what works best for each!

HM: I don’t know if you remember this but I had the honour of tutoring you over a decade ago when you were in primary school, I remember you as very polite and extremely switched on! What has been your favourite part of providing tutoring to your students?

AK: I do remember! My journey as a tutor has been amazing, it is awesome to see students progress over a number of years and to see them achieve things they didn’t realise were possible! I’ve had a number of students for over four years now and seeing their growth over this time is just incredible!!

Meet the Tutors – Nicole Lambert

Harry Mav: Hey Nicole, thank you for joining me! Let’s start with what you’re up to at the moment in life, you’ve just finished your uni degree right?

Nicole Lambert: Hey Harry, yep exactly, I just finished a Bachelor of Media, PR and advertising and I’m currently doing a Masters of Commerce (marketing). It’s a field I really enjoy, I’m also doing an internship at the moment in marketing and loving being in the work force as well!

HM: Great to hear! And you’ve been tutoring for a while at First Ed as well right?

NL: Yep I’ve been tutoring since 2017 in English and Maths, it’s been amazing to be able to build students’ confidence and assist in their understanding. I actually used to come here as a student and found the tutoring so helpful for me, it’s an honour to be able to give back and help other students!

HM: That’s right, very cool! Do you have a preferred year level that you like to tutor?

NL: All the year levels come with different rewards and challenges but I think Year 11 and 12 I find the most rewarding. I feel I can really contribute to the students at this critical point of their lives and we can build a really helpful mentoring relationship that makes very tangible differences to their experience of the HSC!

HM: Wow that’s awesome! And especially this year with all the difficulties presented to students is there one thing that has really stood out for you to focus on with your students?

NL: I guess their confidence, I’ve found that so many students are really able to do what they need to do but just don’t believe in themselves and aren’t willing to be vulnerable enough to have a go and risk failure. It’s so necessary though! Video call sessions have added another dimension to the tuition and I think we’re all better off for having it as an option!

Meet the Tutors – Venus Lacoste

Harry Mav: Hey Venus, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today! Let’s get right into it, so what are you studying at the moment?
Venus Lacoste: Hey Harry, I’m studying Fine Arts at National Arts school in my final year. I’m  majoring in painting and I’m doing mostly abstract art, in fact you’d love it Harry a lot of it is quite geometric.
HM: Ah awesome! And do you see yourself working in fine art going forward?
VL: Definitely! I love it and want to keep working in art, but since starting tutoring I’ve really started to think more seriously about going back to uni after this and becoming a teacher!
HM: Ow that’s amazing! So you’ve loved your time tutoring?
VL: I have indeed, it has been great to come up with so may different ways to explain things to the students (these come to me at all different times)! COVID was a big adjustment to move to video call sessions but it made me much more intentional in my sessions then and now.
HM: Very interesting. And what else can you tell us about yourself, I believe you did piano and ballet to a very high level?
VL: I did! Now life gets a bit busy now but I’ve been getting into life drawing classes whenever I can which are great!

Meet the Tutors – Sebastian Zois

Harry Mav: Hey Sebastian, great to be speaking with you today! So tell us a little bit about yourself, what are you studying at the moment?
Sebastian Zois: Hey Harry, likewise! So I’m in my final year of Clinical Science at Macquarie University, I’m loving it! I want to continue there with post graduate Physiotherapy from next year!
HM: Oh wow, that’s cool! And have you had a chance to gain a better insight of COVID with the knowledge from your course?
SZ: Definitely, we did some extra work now on COVID, looked at case studies and understood all sorts of things about the virus.
HM: Great! And you tutor biology, do you bring this knowledge to the students?
SZ: Where it’s relevant. I tutor Biology but also Maths, Physics and Chemistry, I love it!
HM: Awesome! And what is it you love about tutoring?
SZ: I love it when I can develop students to a point where they’re asking really deep questions that get to the core of what they’re learning. I remember once I had a student for Maths and the sciences who was going through a lot in her life. We sat down and talked it through, went over everything not only on an academic side but also from a mentoring / life side and I provided whatever insight I could. She ended up doing really well in her HSC and she is actually now tutoring at the Centre too!!
HM: Wow that’s amazing! It must be really rewarding when one of your students then goes on to become a tutor and help other students! And what else should we know about you?
SZ: I love football! I follow Sydney FC / Arsenal and I also play for Sans Souci. Very happy now that the restrictions are lifting!!

Meet the Tutors – Lilla Zayzon

Harry Mav: Hey Lilla, great to be here talking with you! So tell us a bit about yourself, you’re studying at the moment?

Lilla Zayzon: Yep I’m in the final year of my combined Business and Law degree at UTS, really enjoying it! I then have the tutoring as well which I really love, then I spend whatever time I have left seeing friends and family, reading, going to the beach and going on walks.

HM: Ah great to hear! And what’s your plan after you finish your studies?

LZ: I want to work in law, probably in media and arts and in the longer term to settle down and start a family.

HM: Beautiful! You’ve been tutoring for a few years now, how has that been going?

LZ: I’ve absolutely loved it, I actually thought of changing to study teaching at some point! It’s incredible to have this relationship with the kids each week where we can meet up and I can help mentor them and build their confidence to tackle their learning at school.

HM: Oh wow! Tell us more about the tutoring, what impact do you think you’ve made on the kids’ lives?

LZ: Well it’s hard to say because a lot of it you don’t see, but I know there were many students who first came to me who didn’t really like school or their learning but after a few sessions they saw that they really could enjoy the process! My favourite part is probably when students come to sessions really wanting to share with me something positive that has happened in their week because they know I’ll want to hear about it and I care about what’s happening in their lives!

HM: That’s awesome, in fact if I’m not mistaken we’ve had a number of students come to us because their friends were super happy with you as a tutor! Congratulations Lilla!

Meet the Tutors – Kiri Kondou

Harry Mav: Hey Kiri, ok let’s do this! So tell us a bit about yourself, you’re studying at the moment at university!

Kiri Kondou: Hey Harry, yep indeed! So I’m finishing up a Bachelor of Science at UNSW and going to Sydney Uni afterwards to do a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics. I actually was doing Commerce and Science, but eventually realised my true passion lied with science and health. I really love what I’m studying now and can’t wait to be working in a clinical setting learning more about my field.

HM: Wonderful to hear! And you tutor Maths and Biology, do you think your studying supplements and supports your abilities as a tutor?

KK: Most certainly, I’ve learnt a lot more about especially Biology at uni so I can really help the kids that want to delve deeper. It also really helps to remain a student while I’m tutoring because it means I can more easily put myself in the students’ shoes and understand more what they’re going through.

HM: Very good point! And what has been the high point of your tutoring so far in the past few years?

KK: The high point has to be when students start to really understand their abilities and surprise even themselves. I have a Year 12 student now that was getting 20% when she first came to us and now has consistently been ranking top 3 in her year group! It’s amazing to be able to provide a student with that sort of confidence and change!

HM: Ah wow, definitely! And I guess finally what do you do when you’re not at uni or tutoring in your spare time?

KK: I absolutely love reading! Any kind of mystery fiction series will have me occupied for hours, but lately I’ve been getting really into motivational books. Just finished “The Power of Now”, would highly recommend!

Meet the Tutors – Mariah Stavrou

Harry Mav: Hey Mariah, great to speak with you! So, how do you feel about the tutoring that you do?

Mariah Stavrou: I absolutely love it! I’ve been tutoring for three years now and it’s been a wonderful way to bring my love of learning to life and to share that with the students!

HM: Wow! And you’ve had this love of learning since you were a kid?

MS: Yep as far back as I can remember I’ve loved learning and really enjoyed the whole process of understanding new things. I tutor now in both Maths and English and it’s amazing to be able to bring about the same love of learning in the students so they feel it too.

HM: Great to hear! And is there an example of this that comes to mind?

MS: One of my most memorable moments with students is seeing their confidence skyrocket by the time they graduate year 12. A lot of them get intimidated when they see the quality of writing that their older siblings achieved in their HSC, but then impress themselves when they reach the same quality by their HSC.

HM: Must be a wonderful feeling! And what are you studying at the moment?

MS: I’m studying Medical Science at UNSW and I want to get into further study from here. I would gladly go into research or academia and can see myself studying for the rest of my life!

HM: Wow not many people say that, most people don’t particularly enjoy the studying and the preparing for exams but it’s awesome that you feel that way. And what do you do in your spare time?

MS: It’s a bit embarrassing but I read books in most of my spare time! I’m really into historical fiction at the moment, really enjoying it.

Meet the Tutors – Eleni Emvalomas

Harry Mav: Hi Eleni, great to be speaking with you today! So you live the life of architectural student by day tutor by night?

Eleni Emvalomas: Yep that’s right! I’m about to finish my Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Sydney and I enjoy every minute of my time with the kids in the evenings!

HM: Great to hear! And what are your plans once you’ve finished your degree?

EE: I want to further my studies specifically looking into urban and regional planning and hopefully get some more experience in the field.

HM: And you’ve already had some experience?

EE: I went to Italy recently to complete some additional research on the construction of canal systems in Venice, it was a challenging and very rewarding experience!

HM: And I imagine it must feel this way with tutoring at times, how does it feel while you’re tutoring your students?

EE: I thoroughly enjoy it, in fact often I find myself feeling privileged that I’m able to contribute in some way to the education and lives of these students. I must say the higher levels of English and Modern History are probably my favourite to tutor. I find it is super important to understand and empathise with each student and what stage they are at in their learning journey in to really see massive growth in the students’ confidence and results.

HM: Very cool. And outside of tutoring and uni what do you do in your (limited) free time?

EE: Ah free time! I love to read actually, I do a lot of reading of philosophy books and thinking about the concepts that others have been thinking about in generations. I actually think it’s a great thing to be bringing up with the students as well, we often discuss fairly deep concepts and it’s great to see the kids really get it!