Spotlight Series

Where we interview individuals that play a key role in helping young people to succeed.

Meet Jason Ursino

Maths Teacher and successful owner of Learning Space.

I love teaching Mathematics. It is a great pleasure to see students grow and build on previous knowledge to get to a high level of Mathematics.

When I first started teaching I got involved in school life in every way I could. From overnight camps to overseas school tours and couching the football. This allowed me to get to know the students on a different level and it allowed me to get to know the parents. Building trust with families in the school community led to supporting students in their Mathematics. What started out as some volunteer work became a learning centre setup in Castle Hill, NSW.

Teaching in Learning Space is just like teaching in school, however, it is more concentrated to a smaller group of students... and there is no bus duty.

The most common mistake that students make when preparing for the HSC is the lack of planning.

Students tend to prepare for assessments only about a week before the task. This can cause unnecessary stress and their performance can be hindered. I would recommend getting into a program of study on a regular basis. Students should write out a weekly study plan and stick to it.

The plan should include sport, breaks and time with family and friends. The plan will refine over time and if it is written down then there is more chance it will be followed.

If students get into this program of study it will just become routine and it will reduce stress levels allowing students to perform at their optimum level.

'Personal Trainer' style support

Students should utilise support like a teacher to hold them accountable for completing the work.

This concept is similar to a personal trainer in the gym. If you have someone there to set goals and work with you to achieve them then there is a better chance that you will be successful.

If every Year 12 student followed this strategy, as well as the weekly plan stratagem, we will see less stress, less depression and more success.

The true impact Covid has had

I don't think many people realise how much Covid impacted students.

Teachers put in a lot of work to deliver work online and to ensure that students completed it. There are some students that do not enjoy Mathematics (only some) and will do the absolute minimum.

During lockdown this was even more evident as teachers were not looking over their shoulder as they work. As a result, there were students who did not learn very much and now have significant gaps in their foundations.

Tutoring with real teachers that understood this was a saving grace for these students. Learning Space switched to lessons online to support students during the difficult time. Students were able to consolidate on the work missed.

After finding that it works well, we still continue some sessions online today, particularly for students who are in remote areas and need our support.

Proud moment

A student joined Learning Space at the end of Year 10. She had serious foundation issues as she missed a lot of classes due to her health.

The student needed support to learn all of the Years 7 - 10 Mathematics content to be able to complete the Mathematics Standard 2 course for her HSC.

With a combination of Private and Group Sessions we got her into a habit of study. The student ended up finishing her HSC course with the second top band in Mathematics Standard 2.

Her mother was more surprised than she was as overall Mathematics was the student's best subject.

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