Roger Kennedy with his family
Roger Kennedy has had quite the career, from the theatre stage to the small screen and even stand-up comedy before finally finding his passion for education; all before the age of 30.
After seven years in teaching, Roger Kennedy became disillusioned by what he describes as the ‘daily bureaucracy’ and decided to take his future into his own hands with the launch of his own business. He is now working with more than 40 local families and has only one regret: not doing it sooner!
“I get such an immense sense of pride from what I do now," he said, "I have to stop and pinch myself sometimes! To be able to make a difference in people’s lives – there’s no greater feeling. What we do is about more than book-learning; we help build self-confidence and self-worth – it was important to me as a teacher and now it’s what drives me.”
35-year-old Roger and his wife, Daria, moved to Hitchin just four years ago. Desperate to leave London and in search of the perfect place to bring up a family, they stumbled across the town by accident and fell in love. They’ve been here ever since and the newest addition to the family, little Louisa, is just nine months old.
Majoring in drama and English literature, Roger graduated university in 2004. Over the next five years, he established his own theatre company, toured the UK as an independent actor and stand-up comic and even appeared on TV. Keen to share his love of the arts with young people he decided to train as a teacher and qualified in 2009.
For the next eight years, he taught in schools around London – from inner city academies in Tottenham and Walthamstow before transferring to Letchworth. But as time went on, increasing pressure and ever changing policies left Roger feeling unable to do the thing that mattered to him most; help his students to achieve and grow and individuals.
“I became disillusioned with certain elements of the role and the constantly changing policies. It almost became that the evidence of achievements were favoured in place of genuine knowledge and interaction with your students. Teachers want to make a difference and see students’ progress but it’s being taken away from them.”
Determined that he still wanted to make an impact in children’s lives, Roger did what many of us can only dream of doing: ditched the safety of employment and pursued life as his own boss! His new business, Tutor Doctor, helps children to grow in confidence and ability. Utilising his vast experience, Roger thoroughly asses a child’s needs and then carefully selects the best-fit tutor based on goals, personality and learning level. Tutors visit students at home, at a time that is convenient for them.
Roger’s passion and commitment has seen his new business flourish. In less than six months, he’s already working with over 40 families in Hitchin and Stevenage as well as a local school. Not to mention providing regular work to the 29 local tutors he’s recruited to date!
“We’ve had a great take-up in the area," he added. "I’ve been incredibly lucky that everything has come together for me – my background and experience couldn’t be a better fit. I love where I live and the community that I’m in – I take all of that and when I go into consultations and talk to people, I feel confident, passionate and feel that I’ve got a lot to share. I’m inspired to aim for the stars. Not just for my own success but the success we can help every student to achieve.”
When he’s not busy building his new empire, Roger is a huge sports and fitness enthusiast and enjoys swimming and golfing. He still loves the theatre, and of course, stand-up comedy. He has fond memories of his time as a stand-up comic because that’s how he met his wife, Daria. The couple have two young children and Roger says the best part of his new business is the new-found freedom it brings to family life:
“Being in control of my schedule is wonderful and it’s given me the freedom of time with my family – I can drop my daughter off at school and see her in school plays. I feel liberated, optimistic, a huge sense of community pride… and I’ve even got enough time to go the gym!”