What is Tutor Tales?

I realise that sometimes I talk about tutoring…a lot.

It might be about a particular student that I have (sometimes you get geniuses, or weird little kids…). Or a particular subject/text that I’m tutoring right now that I find really interesting or frustrating. Other times, it’s just thinking about how the NSW education system works, why and how we teach English for example…

So I’ve decided to put all these thoughts into a blog called Tutor Tales! Where I can rant about things. But also share particular information for tutors that might be in the same boat as me. Or to just generally help students out

Who is behind Tutor Tales?

I’m  at B Laws and B Arts in Communication (Writing and Cultural Studies) 2010 graduate at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In 2011, I worked as a graduate at a government agency.

I went to a public primary and high school in the Hills area, and graduated in 2005. My HSC was Advanced English, English Extension 1, English Extension 2, 3 Unit Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Visual Arts (I wasn’t a good asian and didn’t do physics, unfortunately). I also had IPT originally in Year 11, but dropped it out of boredom.

I have been tutoring since I started university in 2006 – subjects are Maths (up to Year 10), English (up to HSC), Biology and Visual Arts.

What texts have I studied or tutored?


  • As You Like It
  • Hamlet
  • Julius Caesar
  • King Lear
  • Macbeth
  • Othello
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest


  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (The Pardoner’s Tale)
  • Bruce Dawe
  • Emily Dickinson
  • TS Eliot
  • Gwen Harwood
  • Peter Skrzynecki
  • WB Yeats
  • John Keats


  • A Simple Plan
  • Billy Eliot
  • Blade Runner
  • Clueless
  • Frontline
  • High Noon
  • Run Lola Run
  • The Gladiator
  • The Soloist


  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Henry Lawson’s short stories
  • Justice Game by Geoffrey Robertson
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  • The Fiftieth Gate by Mark Baker
  • The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks


  • Cosi
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Educating Rita
  • Medea


  • An Australian History for All of Us by Noel Pearson
  • I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King Jr
  • Inaugural Address by John F Kennedy
  • Is it to Be Back in the Kitchen? by Jessie Street
  • Faith, Hope and Reconciliation by Faith Bandler
  • Funeral Service of the Unknown Soldier by Paul Keating
  • Keynote address at the Beijing World Conference on Women Aung San Suu Kyi
  • On the occasion of an ecumenical service for the victims of the canyoning tragedy by William Deane
  • Spotty-Handed Villainesses by Margaret Atwood
  • Statement to the Knesset by Anwar Sadat

40 comments for “About

  1. Leanne Carroll
    January 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hi there, I’m looking for an English tutor for 2 children – yrs 9 and 11 both need help with english – all aspects but especially essay writing. Yr 11 student doing Standard English.
    Are you available to tutor anywhere near West Pymble?

  2. Carl
    January 28, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Hi, I am about to start tutoring students (I finished my HSC in 2010) and I was wondering if you had any general advice you could give (like what would you tell yourself given all your experiences if you were just starting out). This would be of immense help!


    • tutortales
      January 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Carl. What subjects are you planning on tutoring? Hm, some general tips:
      – Spend the first and last 2 minutes of each class with small talk. Ask your student whether they like their subjects, what they’re doing this weekend/school break etc. You build a good relationship, find out what their goals are, and what type of personality they have.
      – Keep good records management. I have a folder per student with a record sheet for date of tutoring session, classwork (what we did during tutoring), homework (what they are supposed to do until next time). This allows you to keep track of multiple students and helps with giving the student/parent feedback (if you want to write a report at the end).
      – Ask for a copy of their most recent school report + school exam. This gives you a snapshot of where they are at. Also, their school teacher would have already highlighted their weaknesses in the report, so you don’t need to spend time “assessing” the student yourself.
      – There is no need to over prepare. For most students (maths and english up to yr 10), I do almost NO preparation. Each lesson is pretty much cracking open the maths textbook or asking them what they did during the week at school and helping them with that. Figure out early on whether your student is 1) just needing help with their school work (NO preparation) or 2) looking to get ahead. It’s only when they (or their parents) want extra work, or you are tutoring something which you did not study yourself in school, that you need to prepare probably more.

      Good luck! TT

      • Carl
        January 31, 2011 at 8:22 pm

        Thansk for the advice – I had my first session today and all went well. Also, I am tutoring English…I have another question if you don’t mind: How many hours of tutoring did you do in your first year of uni? I’m going to be doing arts/law at UNSW and seeing as you are also a law student, what sort of hours do you think are best? Thanks for the help!

        • tutortales
          February 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm

          Hey Carl – I’m not sure how timetabling is at UNSW (I went to UTS), but I was able to do about 6 hours per week in my first year. I tutored in a tutoring centre though, which was open 3.30-6.30pm weekdays and Sat morning – so I just worked 2 weekday afternoons. I suppose if you’re doing private, you could take on more hours by tutoring at night time as well. TT

  3. Cindy
    February 22, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Hi. You sound like the perfect tutor for my daughter … do you tutor in the Lane Cove area??? Thanks.

  4. Basil
    March 11, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hi there. I’m a tutor and I finished my HSC in 2008. I just noticed that you don’t have any info or analysis up for the Crime Fiction module, or various other little modules which I have studied. If you like, I have my notes available for this, and also for various texts in different modules. No pressure or anything, just thought it might be handy.

    • tutortales
      March 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Basil – thanks for the offer. TT isn’t really a site for notes etc, but more so discussion, since there is already the BoredofStudies website which hosts many notes. Maybe pop them up there. TT

  5. Stephanie
    June 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve been tutoring in the North Shore area since 2003 and recently took two years off to travel and focus on work (after abandoning high school teaching). All of my resources are lost in a box (or three) in my garage and until I have somewhere to unpack them I am ‘starting from scratch’. I just started up with a new student and wanted to make sure I was still on top of things, thus I found your site! It is excellent! Thank you for not getting stuck in the usual teaching rut of keeping resources and ideas to yourself! Good on you for creating a user-friendly resource for students. I’m sure there are many high school students who appreciate your efforts – I do wonder how I survived my HSC without resources like this!

    • tutortales
      June 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

      No problem Stephanie – glad I can be of help! TT

  6. Lily
    July 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Hi, I was wondering if you were avaliable for lessons for Visual Arts and possibly English as well. I was also wondering how you do your lessons as in in your home or do you go to other students houses? I am currently in year 12. Thanks.

    • tutortales
      July 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Lily – thanks for your comment, but I’m actually winding down from doing tutoring now, because I’ve started full time work this year. TT

  7. cor.
    July 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Hi, Do you tutor places around Epping for year 12 advanced english?

    • tutortales
      July 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      Sorry I don’t tutor in the Epping area. TT

  8. nat
    August 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hi there,
    Your blog is fantastic. Are you able to come to our school and speak to some year 12 high school students about essay writing for the HSC (particularly the modules on conflicting perspectives and belonging?) Paid work.
    They would be willing to stay after school if you can’t make it during the day.

    Could you email me your reply? I can provide details…

  9. dsgsdfgdfgdfg
    September 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    This helped me a lot. I am in year 10 and I have my trials tomorrow. Thank you. It helped me a lot.

  10. October 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Hey there!

    Your blog is wonderful! I found it when I was searching for practice essay questions for a student of mine. This is a great resource; thank you so much!

    I too am an English tutor. I completed my HSC last year, and am currently in my first year of university at UNSW.

    You have inspired me to blog a bit more about tutoring and education in NSW – thank you! I will be sure to mention your blog in my post, when I get around to writing it!

    • tutortales
      October 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks for commenting – I’m really glad that my posts can help others out. All the best with your first year of uni. TT

  11. B
    February 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I am often arguing with my Yr 10 student about needing to do a written response to a question that he must incorporate the question in the answer otherwise it does not make sense? ie; Why do you feel the book ‘ Lord of the Flies ‘ is better than the movie ? The reason I believe the book ‘Lord of the flies’ is better than the movie beacause …
    also will it make a difference to marking ? Thanks B

    • tutortales
      February 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      That is a good habit to get into. However, substantively, it will be what follows “because” which really matters in terms of marks. But incorporating the question does ensure/show the marker that your answer is CLEARLY linked to the question they have asked. In my opinion, do it if you have the time in the exam. TT

  12. Anon
    May 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Hi there, I was wandering what areas do you tutor in? and whether you know of any tutor near Homebush/Strathfield?
    btw, your website is great, thanks a lot for all the help you provide.

    • tutortales
      May 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      In the North-West but I’m no longer taking on any students. Sorry, I don’t know anyone who is in that area, but you can use http://www.tutorfinder.com.au to find one. TT

  13. Lou
    June 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hello, do you happen to have administrative law notes? Your notes are brilliant – short and succinct. I modified your Real Prop notes for my exam and they were really helpful! Thanks!

    • tutortales
      June 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Not really, because this course was taught really badly and in a disorganised mess. So my notes don’t quite make sense and I didn’t do very well in Admin Law… TT

  14. S
    July 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Hi there, do you do HSC Standard English tutoring around the North Parramatta/ Parramatta area?

  15. mel
    July 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Hi there,

    I love you blogs!! Do you have some year 10 past papers eg the School Certificate (although it doesnt exist anymore)? Thankyou so much!!

  16. Ash
    August 28, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Hey champ, Love your website! Very helpful indeed. Just wondering if you could possibly supply your evidence and criminal procedure Essay? It would only help with formatting and structuring etc. Assignments obviously change from semester to semester. Would you please be able to supply the essay?

  17. October 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Hi i’m currently starting up a online tutoring website – Get Intellect- could you please contact me to discuss if you would be interested in blogging for us?

  18. Samantha
    November 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Hi I was wondering if you tutor in the St George area at all?
    Also, would you be able to email me personally about tips on Extension 2 English please?
    I’m a year 11 (transitioning into year 12).

    • tutortales
      December 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

      Sorry I don’t tutor in the St George area. In terms of tips of EE2, I don’t really have any tips per se at the moment, but I’ll have a think and maybe do a post on it. 🙂 TT

  19. erika
    August 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    hi do you do private tutoring at all? on uts campus or somewhere close?

    • tutortales
      August 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm

      Sorry, not anymore. TT

  20. Hajar
    November 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    hello i was wondering if you tutor in the lidcombe and auburn area?

    • tutortales
      November 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Sorry, but I don’t tutor anymore. TT

  21. RyanC
    November 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Hi do you happen to have info for PLT subject legal skills?

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