Sunday, 13 September 2009

tutor group

I tutor a group of year nine students (fourteen year olds) and I've had them since year seven. They see me twice every day and I am meant to be their parents' first point of contact about all things school-related. I give advice and had out letters, keep communication between home and school open, and generally act as an advocate for my twenty-eight youngsters around the school. I try to solve their friendship and bullying issues and act as police for the school's policies and rules.

Do you think it would be crazy to read to them during tutor time? I thought of this last week when I was browsing on Green Metropolis, and I spontaneously bought a copy of the The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There are lots of things we are supposed to be doing during tutor time, like checking everyone has all their equipment, all the socks are black or grey or white, all the skirts are of an appropriate length, etc, etc. But really I am re-thinking my strategy with them. I have been very businesslike for the two years I have had them as a tutor group and now I want to forge a bit more of a relationship with them. Ideas certainly welcome! I started off last term with a summer pizza party, where we ordered pizza from down the road and I brought in drinks (Coke Zero, to minimise the damage to afternoon lessons!) and treats. They enjoyed it... I think. I don't actually know them very well and I think I would enjoy them more if I got to know them a bit.


Jayme said...

I think it would be a good idea if you have the sort of tutor group who enjoy being read to...

I had a great connection with my tutor group while I was there, but it sort of just forged itself on it's own. I always asked them about their day/weekend, made an effort to find out about what they are interested in, and made a big deal about supporting them in their school activities...if someone had a football match, I went, if someone was in the school play, I went, and I encouraged them to do the same. You could also arrange some friendly competitions with the other year 9 tutor groups. I always found that helped us forge a connection.

Anthony and Tawnya said...

I think reading to your tutor group sounds great! I also feel knowing what interests they have in school and out of school, they will start to develop a respect for you. At the beginning of the year with my private students I have them fill out an 'about me' form, such as:
When is your birthday?
What is your favorite genre of music?
What is your favorite extra curricular activity?
What is your favorite subject in school?
In return I fill out the exact same form and give it to them, so they know about me. They know that I am not just a music teacher, that I am a person just like them. They all have a very close bond to me, and because of that they put a lot of effort into practice, and they also are more open to confiding in me.