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!

Meet the Tutors – Amelia Chichester

Harry Mav: Hey Amelia, great to see you! So this is your 5th year of tutoring at First Ed?

Amelia Chichester: That’s right! I’ve absolutely loved my time here tutoring the students, it’s been great to see the students grow both academically and as young men and women over the years!

HM: It is a great blessing indeed! How long has it been for your longest student?

AC: 4 years now, we started in Year 6 and he is now in Year 9. With two students in fact!

HM: Wow! And you’re studying at the moment, doing your Masters right?

AC: Yep I’m doing my Masters in Public Health after having done a Bachelor of Science (Immunobiology). I want to then use this to raise awareness for health issues – in fact it’s my work as a tutor that has made me realise I have a love for education and I’d like to combine the health and education somehow in my career.

HM: That’s awesome! So how could you do this?

AC: I guess it would be around preventative measures that we can take to stop diseases like HIV and malaria. Looking forward to that one day soon!

HM: And what other hobbies do you have?

AC: I run a bit. I’ve been doing the half marathon for a few years now.

HM: Haha just a casual 21km of running. Do you run the whole time? What’s your best time?

AC: I wasn’t running the whole time originally but recently I’ve been really pushing myself. My fastest time is 2 hours and 15 minutes, I’m always trying to beat my previous time. I guess if you train enough and really put your mind to it you can achieve anything!

Meet the Tutors – Steven Kassiou

Harry Mav: Hey Steven, so tell us a bit about yourself, what are you studying at uni?

Steven Kassiou: Hey! I’m studying Mechatronic Engineering and Commerce!

HM: Wow, five and a half years?

SK: Yep!

HM: Ok wow, and somehow you have time to be President of the UNSW Hellenic Society! I remember this from 10 years ago!

SK: Indeed, I was president last year, it was an amazing opportunity to give back to the community and contribute to students’ lives.

HM: And outside of that, you’ve been coaching football I hear?

SK: I’ve been coaching for 2 years now and playing for 16 years, I love playing and sharing football! Basically it’s either football, uni, tutoring or reading.

HM: Awesome. What types of books do you read?

SK: I read mainly non fiction books regarding our psychology. Books around how to be a better person. I’m reading a book called Drive by Daniel Pink now, it talks about how to motivate yourself and others.

HM: Fascinating. And with your tutoring, how has that been going?

SK: So I’ve been tutoring Maths and Physics now for four years, it’s the best! I really cherish the ability to help other people, it’s such a meaningful service which is a win win for everyone. The kids are able to reinforce what they learn at school and it’s so fulfilling for us tutors to mentor and guide the students. I always try to take every opportunity to strategically encourage the students and work with them to really bring out the best they can possibly do!