All posts by LeatherAsha

Tutoring: A Real Profession?

tutoringI used to be a student who had a tutor; and later I became a tutor myself. My underachievement in mathematics irritated me from full joy of schooling. Therefore, I went to a math tutor. She was an expert in her sphere with several years of experience. Tutoring was her additional work; her major one was at school. The world of getting into math was full of difficulties. Nevertheless, as it is said, hard work pays off. It did, I could finally make it from an underachievement to an achievement. Since then, math was one of my favorite subjects. Later, while pursuing my bachelor’s degree I used to do tutoring. Teaching English for preschool and elementary children was fun and useful way of spending holidays. Somewhere inside I understand that my former math tutor inspired me to become a tutor.

Although I no longer do tutoring, I have been thinking whether it is possible to make it as major way of making a living. There is a big stereotype that tutoring is only done by those who cannot obtain other normal job, housewives or students. Many people believe that it not a real job. In order to find an answer we need to look at both sides of tutoring job: pros and cons.

The main pros of being a tutor are the followings:

  • Freedom of managing your own time. No one controls your working hours because you are a boss yourself.
  • Healthier and less stressful tutor. It is an accepted fact that teaching a class of twenty or more students can be a stressful experience. When you are teaching one-on-one, all of the concentration surrounds that student.
  • You see your fruits. A tutor can out all his or her energy to one student, instead of a whole class. An enormous pleasure brings seeing how your student grows and develops.

Besides these, there are some cons with tutoring as main profession:

  • Seasonal feature. Time during school breaks is the most demanded for tutoring. In other words, your work depends on seasons.
  • Unpaid word load. In comparison with schoolteachers, tutors have akin responsibilities such as preparing a lessons plan and materials for a lesson.
  • No insurance and pension. As you work on yourself, there is no possibility for insurance and pension.
  • No career development. There are no opportunities for making a tutoring a career unless you have enough money to open your own company with tutoring services.

By considering pros and cons of tutoring, as in any profession there are black and white patterns existing in tutoring. It is up to a person to decide if he or she wants pursue it as a major work.

References: (2014, May). Preimushestva i riski v rabote repetitora [Advantages and risks in tutoring]. Retrieved from

Ivy League or Mean League?

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Pennsylvania, Brown, Dartmouth, and Cornell. The common thing about these universities the fact that they are considered academically best universities of the world, Ivy League universities. The interesting thing about the Ivy League is not how popular they are but how did the league’s membership of universities remain the same and considered as the best ones.


Almost all of the universities, seven of them, were founded during the colonial period. The prehistory of the league itself goes back to the beginning of twenties. In 1935, the first man who used the term “Ivy League” was Alan Gould, sports editor. It must be clear that at first that term had nothing to do with best higher education institutions. Then, after the end of World War Second, in 1945, the contract of “Ivy Group Agreement” only applied to football teams of the universities. Those football teams of eight universities used to compete with each other. Later, in 70s, the possibility of women team tournaments realized due to undergraduate enrollment of female students. The Ivy League agreement extended its doors to lots of new sports. Today, Ivy League universities represent the top universities with challenging admission process. They compete with each other in academics and sports.

From the 30s the universities union did not alter at all. Ivy League consisting of eight universities stays the same for a long time now. Good argument can be the fact of common history of foundation. Nevertheless, the league is the most popular and ranked as the best among others. Millions of young people desire to study there. Kazakh students are of no exception. According to a mini research of mine, it seems to be that among the universities of the Ivy League, Bolashak students enroll to one of them, to University of Pennsylvania. When it comes to a reality, there is a number of leading universities in the world that deserve such rankings as well. As one of the examples, University of Waterloo, the most innovative in the sphere of engineering, where the brand of blackberry self-phones were invented.

Overall, the truth is that Ivy League is de facto of nowadays’ leading universities. If world changes, why does not the union membership of universities change? There other innovative and leading universities out there. It can be seen as a discrimination towards other top universities of the world.


Retrieved from

Things I learned about NU campus life

      I dedicate this blog to all of you, GSE people. Since the beginning of last semester, I have been thinking about my campus life. Therefore, I came up with the idea of writing a post on the theme that is close to us, campus life. campus

     Studying and living in a campus is an incredible experience; this tendency is probably one of the best inventions of human beings. In fact, many people assume that the tendency of campus derived from US; however, it was used during the medieval period in European universities. At campus where we spend our studentship. This temporary moment of our lives will probably be influential. Here are the things I collected about campus life at NU.

  • The dormitory is our home for a period of our study. NU provides us with a dormitory to live in, which is free of charge. It is an enormous gift; nearly hotel level conditions of dormitories can only amaze. We need to treat it as our temporary home, respect and be thankful for these opportunities.
  • You are an independent individual. Living far away from family makes you become more aware of the responsibilities you have. Life is not the same; you cannot rely to your parents any more to fix things for you. Things are now lie on your shoulders. When you realize the beauty of having a complete control on yourself – you become independent.
  • Manage your time. Time passes so quickly at NU, that you cannot escape learning how to manage your time. It is the most significant thing I learned here. Before coming to NU, I could have a messy time management and put all the duties until last minute. There is an enormous amount of information, and if you are not capable of managing your time, you are in trouble. The trouble of sleepless nights, a dizzy head, a feeling of weakness, and rushing for everything.
  • Library is your friend. It is not that I try to look like a nerd, but this is how it goes. You see many students from different schools in the library. It is an everyday reality of NU studentship. When you walk into library, all you see concentrated people who are “all in themselves and their studies” that makes you concentrate too.
  • Diversify communication. All of us know that people cannot live without society. At NU, it is hugely important as you get to become closer to people. By facing each other almost every day; we study, live next to, and spend leisure time together. By the way, do you remember what was told on the first day? It is not only a place to get best education, but also a place to make friends, friends for life.
  • Embrace positive attitude. When you set yourself a shiny mood, everything goes shiny. I believe this is the way to go. We are not undergraduate students – we are graduate students who have much deeper work to do. At that moment, words from one of my favorite movies suit right: “No one said it would be easy”. If we embrace it as a crashing thing, we will fall down.

     There are more things than I listed here, but I decided to list these ones. Do you agree with me? Do you have something to add?

Segregation of Genders in Education.


Eton College, Harrow school, or Bruton School, first school for girls in Irgiz opened by Altynsarin, Kazakh-Turk lyceums for boys and girls have something in common. All of them are types of SSE.

The abbreviation SSE stands for single-sex or sex-segregation education. The goal of SSE is to educate boys and girls separately according to their different learning abilities and capabilities.

SSE effects academic achievement and class size. Funding and special teacher training are pivotal to implement SSE. The benefits of SSE: reductions of class size that effect on academic achievement. According to SSE boys are “visual learners” and girls are “audio learners” that is why they have to be separated and taught with the use of different methods and techniques. Implementation of SSE is not easy, the main concern is funding. Text materials prepared in accordance with the gender learning differences; costs of teacher training programs are only few of the examples.

Many evidences support a well-known fact of gender diversity. Brains of males are larger than females’. However, when it comes to children can we claim the same? The truth is that many of research studies on learning differences among males and females concern adults’ brains, not children’s. There is little or almost no research done on the difference between children learning abilities according to their genders. An associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School, Eliot (2013) points out “the reality is that children’s brains do not operate like adults” (p. 364). In her further research she also mentions, “boys and girls learn and process information in very similar ways from birth” (p. 374).


The research that was conducted by Crawford-Ferre and Wiest (2013) showed both sides of a coin. The strengths of SSE were the following: in all-boys schools distraction disappeared as there were no girls doing boy’s homework. This removal of distraction caused girls to become more active in a learning procedure. Girls did not have to act out looking silly in front of boys anymore. Despite this advantage, the research revealed the weaknesses of SSE. Lack of social experience between genders brings disrespect and omission of diverse ideas in a classroom. “Boys and girls must learn to work together, and the classroom is the ideal setting for such practice because it is both purposeful and supervised” (Strauss, 2012). In addition, negative attitudes of girls in all-girls schools can lead to negative behavior. Intimidation and bullying can be understood by the fact that “girls can be as bad as boys” (Crawford-Ferre & Wiest, 2013, p. 309).

The theme of SSE is difficult to judge from one side. Some may find reasonable arguments for developing such schools. Some can argue that disadvantages overshadow advantages. In any cases, it is up to parents where to send their children.



Eliot, L. (2013). Single-sex education and the brain. Sex Roles, 69 (8), 363-381.

Crawford-Ferre, H.G. & Wiest, L.R. (2013). Single-sex education in public school settings. The Educational Forum, 77 (3), 300-314.

CK, (2012, November 12). Gender Segregation Education. WomanStats Blog. Retrieved from

Strauss, V. (2012, May 4). The case against single-sex schooling. Washington post. Retrieved from



BULLYING, DISCRIMINATION, PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACK. Why do these things happen in schools? In this blog, I would like draw your attention to the violence at schools.

A school is considered as a safe place where children get an education and spend one of the most significant stages in their lives. It is a second home, second family, and an atmosphere, which forms children’s personalities for the rest of their lives. In reality, the tremendous amount of violence in schools deteriorates everything: from the image of schools to the physical and psychological trauma of children. Most importantly, children who went through violation suffer for the rest of their lives.

“Bullying behavior is not just an adolescent phenomenon” (Hargrove, 2010, p. 39). So what is it, school violence? It is any kind of violence happens between peers, teacher-student aimed to humiliate and harm the victim.

UNICEF report of 2013, “Assessment of violence against children in schools in Kazakhstan” revealed some of the types of school violence. The UNICEF survey showed the following types of violence:

“psychological violence (i.e., being called names and made fun of, threatened, have their things damaged, and have children say lies about things so that others will not like them);

physical violence (i.e., pushed, tripped, shoved kicked, hit/beat, physically injured, and threatened or attacked with an object) ;

extortion of money (i.e., extorting or taking money away from a child); sexual abuse (i.e., making sexual jokes or comments about another child, and touching or grabbing another child’s private/sexual body parts);

cyber-bullying (i.e., using the internet or cell phone to send SMS or pictures to threaten or embarrass a child);

discrimination based upon girl status, gender, nationality or skin color, a child’s clothing or where they live, child’s religion, and/or disability” (p.34).

These are only few of the school violence examples in Kazakhstan. Many things are kept away from publicity. In most cases, the victims of school violence do not speak up in a fear of their violators or unwillingness of talking about an ashamed experience.

Violators, whether it is a student, a group of students, or even a teacher may not be aware of the consequences. As specified by Mansbacher (2013) school violence affects further lives of the victims: “being bullied was associated with a greater likelihood of being depressed later in life” (p.24). Headaches, backaches, and sleeping problems of the victims are physical problem consequences which can happen. Aggression, delinquency, and truancy can lead to the desire to seek revenge. The saddest end can be a suicide of children…

What are the reasons for such savagery? Why do these violations continue to happen? Even when there are security guards, psychologists, rules and regulations of student conduct at schools? Children do what they see at home, at schools, and on TV. As parents, teachers, brothers or sisters we need to pay attention to this issue, prevent and solve any of the forms of school violence.

P.S. I would be more than grateful for your questions, thoughts, or comments.


Haar, R.N. (2013). Assessment of violence against children in schools in Kazakhstan”. Astana, The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Hargrove, K. (2010). Stop school bullying: a tale of two girls. Gifted Child Today, 33(4), 39-40.