Are you doing what you imagined you would when you were younger? Or even when you finished school? For most people the answer would be no - because we tend to stumble on our passions on our way to other things.
When Calton Mupfumbati was younger, he initially wanted to be a pilot - simply because he liked planes. When he got to sixth form, he decided he wanted work that would take him to the city. With this in mind, he did his A levels in Maths, Economic and Ethics and carried this into higher education by studying a PPE (Politics, philosophy and economics) at the University of Nottingham. Prior to his studies, he planned to drop the politics because he wanted nothing to do with it, but after studying it for a while he just realised that he hadn’t really understood it - and began to really enjoy it. But now, after years of experience tutoring and teaching, he is leaning more towards going into teaching.
Calton initially got into tutoring as a side job in year 12 - it was the type of a thing where a friend of his mum’s needed help for their kid, and he volunteered. This continued to grow further when he got into University, when he applied for a job at a tutoring firm - a job that he still has today. As a student, it is a job that is flexible and offers good compensation. However, the more he did it, the more Calton realised the gratification that came with helping kids learn, and began branching further out in tutoring and teaching. Firstly, he did a taster programme at Teach First, an educational charity that develops and supports teachers and leaders in order to address education inequalities in England and Wales. During the taster programme, another charity, Action Tutoring, came and spoke to them about volunteering with them. Action tutoring is a charity that provides tutoring to disadvantaged young people, focusing on socio-economical schools, it helps to push up students that are just below a passing grade. At the point that Calton got involved with them, they were still young - they had recently formed in Nottingham, where he was studying. “If a teacher has 30 kids in a class, giving individual attention to everyone is very difficult. Action tutoring can help give that extra attention, and unlock their potential and allow them to pass.” At this point, he has been volunteering for them for a few years. The more Calton has worked in this field, the more his future has started to shape around it. “There is an immense satisfaction in watching a student walk in that feels slightly lost, and then watching them walk out confident because of your help.”
This is also not the first time that Calton has aimed to bridge gaps in education. Based on his own struggles finding internships and placements in first year, Calton established a Bright Futures Society at the University of Nottingham. This was in collaboration with My Kinda Future (now known as Connectr). They specialise in preparing students for life post-university, taking them through how to navigate interviews, how to craft CVs and cover letters, and everything they need to know to take the next steps into the world of work. Calton came across them in a Careers fair and realised there was an opportunity to bring what they were doing to his University. “As a first year student, you are introduced to a lot of information and it can be overwhelming with very little support.” He noted that while his uni had a Careers and Employability Service, they catered to the whole student body. This meant that it was often hard to get an appointment and the advice was not as specialised as it could be. Calton started a Bright Futures society at Nottingham to bridge this gap, and offer the guidance that he wished he had. However, the University felt it clashed with the Careers and Employability Service and therefore he didn’t receive any support.
It is common knowledge that there are gaps in the education system, at the beginning stages all the way through to University. Those without resources, without money, without opportunities often get left behind despite the fact that they do have the skills and drive to succeed. People like Calton are the ones that change this, that make the difference in pulling people forward.
Want to keep up to date with Calton and his work? You can find him here:
LinkedIn : linkedin.com/in/caltonmupfumbati