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One to one tuition - am I unreasonable to feel a little peeved?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by brunetta, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. brunetta

    brunetta New commenter

    Been doing 1:1 tuition every afternoon in a school since March half term. I've spoken to my agency and feedback from the Head is that apparently I've been asking the teachers too many questions and 1:1 should be separate to the school.
    I'm given the pupils (Yr 6, about to sit SATs), given a level and that's it. No other information, no APP from teacher, no indication of areas that I should particularly concentrate on. They've been sitting mock SATs papers but I'm not informed of any particular weaknesses or targets.
    Given that I've been in school every afternoon since March half term, I've just tried to build rapport with the teachers so that we can get the best out of the 1:1 tuition. I've been letting the teachers know what I'm doing and asking if there's anything in particular they feel the pupils need to go over (this hasn't been every day either). This is so that, in my opinion, we can get the most out of the tuition. After all, it's only 10 hours so I don't want any time wasted trying to ascertain whether a pupil needs to go over a particular topic and it turns out the pupil is comfortable with the topic.
    From the guidelines and from other discussions, it seems normal to have some communication with the teacher yet now I feel as if I'm doing it all wrong ('upset' is probably too
    strong) but I am a little disappointed. I'm just trying to get the best
    out of the 10 sessions for the pupil.
    Is it wrong to expect some communication with the teacher? Am I thinking the wrong way about 1:1 tuition in a school environment?
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    That's really bad. I have been doing y6 1-1 for the last 10 weeks and I talk to the teacher daily. She finds it really valuable and we are picking up on misconceptions, areas not understood and general weaknesses. I am also constantly talking to the head (maths is an area the school is really worried about).
    I would think it is essential to have communication with the class teacher. You need to know what the children need to work on and the class teacher is the person to speak to.

  3. The 1:1 tuition programme is not for 10 hours; that is only the number of hours that you are actually tutoring the pupils. There is also additional time built in for planning with the class teachers. You cannot be expected to know what the pupils need before first contact with them and should not have to waste time during the actual tutoring sessions by determining their actual levels and what needs to be done. If any school or full time teacher fails to provide the tutor with all the relevant information they are failing in their duty and are failing their pupils: furthermore I think they are wasting public money.
    My own personal grievance is about those schools who use their own existing staff to provide the extra 1:1 tuition reather than using supply teachers for instance; I know of one school that used one of their governors for 1:1 tuition. I think it hypocrtical of full time teachers to complain about their teaching load and then to take on the extra work that 1:1 tuition involves.

  4. Theoretically there should be links between the tutor, teacher, parent. The tutor should be sending a bullet point report home after each session. Theoretically 3 targets should be 'agreed' for the tutor to work on which are provided by the class/subject teacher. Theoretically the school should be interested in ensuring that the tutoring is effective and should regard it as part of the school intervention provision. All is, theoretically, monitored by DFE/LA.

  5. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I'm Secondary so it's slightly different, but in our school 1:1 was offered to teachers in the English and Maths departments first. In Maths, one of the part-timers took it up but in our English department, nobody wanted to do it so we recruited a supply teacher. She met with the English teachers concerned before she met the students and we told her about the kids and what we were doing in lessons. She comes in twice a week and has lunch in the staff room with us and chats - to be honest, I hadn't considered whether we should have more input.
    Apart from our initial discussion, we've pretty much left her to it and her feedback has been quite general. That said, she's an experienced teacher and an English specialist.
  6. brunetta

    brunetta New commenter

    Thanks for all the replies.
    You've all confirmed what I thought - that I'd be given levels (which I have been given) and information about where any specific gaps to work on or even what they're doing in the classroom (which I haven't been automatically given). I don't think it makes the most out of tuition if I'm having to spend an hour or so on assessment to find out information which the teacher already has. After one session with one pupil I just wanted to chat with the teacher to ask if there was anything specific she wanted me to go over with the pupil and the reply from her was 'What's your opinion?' Well, yes, I might form an opinion after an hour with the pupil but obviously I'm not with that pupil every day - I'm just concerned that there might have been something I missed.
    Gloriasunshine - at least your tutors met with the teachers concerned; it sounds as if there is some initial discussion. In my case, there's no actual meeting. I'm just given the name of a pupil, the class and a level so I try grabbing a teacher when I go in for the afternoon, just before sessions, or after school.
    There's no chatting and I haven't ever been invited into the staffroom. I just thought that if I'm there for a length of time, dealing with several pupils, it might be nice to try and form some kind of relationship with the teachers concerned. I don't think I'm asking for lots of input just an indication of where to start with the pupil (from the teacher's assessment and any Sats papers the pupils have done). Obviously that doesn't mean that I would necessarily just concentrate on what the teacher has pointed out as other issues might surface whilst I'm tutoring but it is a starting point. I don't initially know what the pupils' gaps are that prevent them from achieving a higher level.
    It seems that this hasn't gone down well. Never mind.

  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Well, some schools are friendlier than others. Do you have much teaching experience? If so, you'll probably find that you 'sense' those gaps very quickly. I used to do private tuition and never had any info so made first sessions a lesson on difficult stuff (pre 1914 poetry for GCSE) but started right from the beginning. You soon spot those who have good ideas but can't articulate them, those that don't go into enough depth and those who don't have a clue. The differentiation is by delivery - with some students I could skip through to analysis whereas others needed talking through the content. I'm sure there are similar things you can do with primary. Once you know where to start, you can decide what to prioritise.
    If you lack experience, it's harder but you can cover yourself by planning lots of different activities so that you can move on to something more suitable for different children. As for the teachers - I'd leave them out of it unless there are problems. I suppose in primary, teachers are used to groups and individuals being withdrawn from lessons and expect another teacher to get on with it. I'm sure it's nothing personal.
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    You are in the school for at least 10 weeks and are a part of the team. I've done tuition in several schools. At the primary schools I have worked at, I have formed really good relationships with the teachers and have been accepted as a member of the team. In the secondary school, things were a bit different. Much bigger and we worked in the library. Did not meet the teachers. But had good friendships with the school staff met in the library.

  9. brunetta

    brunetta New commenter

    Hi Gloriasunshine
    Thanks for the advice; it's an interesting viewpoint. I am an NQT so obviously don't have loads of teaching experience.It hasn't been easy doing 1:1 but I've learned loads and loads - about me, about my teaching, about how pupils learn etc etc. I could go on...
    I guess it's just that the experience has just been quite different to what I expected after speaking to others and reading the guidelines. Also, on my teaching placements, the teachers did seem to take an interest in what was going on in 1:1 tuition so I guess I've just been a little taken aback that I've just been left to my own devices and a little peeved that any kind of questioning or attempt to discuss a pupil with the teacher seems to have been remarked upon; that 1:1 tuition is considered separate to the school.
    As you say, some schools are friendlier than others (I've certainly discovered that on supply) and this one is not, in my experience, one of the friendliest. Maybe it's sort of like a clash in personalities (although that sounds a little strong) and it's all just different to how I think I would treat the situation if I had my own class.
    That's the joys of internet forums like TES. You get so many different perspectives and loads to reflect upon.

  10. brunetta

    brunetta New commenter

    robyn147 I think you've hit the nail on the head. I thought it would be like teamwork and this particular school doesn't seem to consider 1:1 tuition that way. That's where my disappointment lies. I just thought that having some communication with the teachers would be beneficial to the pupils but the school seems to expect me to use my own judgement and get on with it.
    Well, it's all good experience and, as they say, 'you live and learn.' [​IMG]

  11. Let's be absolutely clear about one -to -one tutoring.
    Apart from being given intitial data/info etc prior to the sessions by the relevant permanent teaching staff, you as a fully qualified and registered professional should be allowed to practise according to the remit of individualised, personalised learning e.g. in maths each student/pupil will have a raft of different misconceptions, half understood concepts etc etc...Your duties and responsibilities must follow the remit of delivering personalised, individualised tutoring to each student according to need and you must have the assertiveness and professional freedom to do so. Of course there will be disagreements about a particular child's NC levels but that is the nature of the game????!!


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