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Year 12/13 Form Tutor tips?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by tru_smoov, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I start this new year as a Sixth Form Tutor. I've only ever done lower school form tutoring before, so it's all going to be very new to me!
    I have lots of ideas and activities planned for ongoing events through the school year, but I am very nervous about the first day!
    We have 1.5hrs with our tutor group, and aside from all the start of year admin, I feel I should talk to them about work ethic and try to be fairly inspirational to them all! My problem is I have no idea how to apprach this for older students. I really don't want to give them the boring 'you must work hard, you are doing A levels' etc etc.
    Does anyone have any good resources/presentations/videos or anything thatI could include in my talk to make it slightly more bearable!
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Hello,
    I start this new year as a Sixth Form Tutor. I've only ever done lower school form tutoring before, so it's all going to be very new to me!
    I have lots of ideas and activities planned for ongoing events through the school year, but I am very nervous about the first day!
    We have 1.5hrs with our tutor group, and aside from all the start of year admin, I feel I should talk to them about work ethic and try to be fairly inspirational to them all! My problem is I have no idea how to apprach this for older students. I really don't want to give them the boring 'you must work hard, you are doing A levels' etc etc.
    Does anyone have any good resources/presentations/videos or anything thatI could include in my talk to make it slightly more bearable!
    Thanks in advance!
     
  3. I've been a Y12/13 tutor for 4 years, they really are great groups to work with. Something I do with my students on the 1st day back is to show them how to organise a file (trust me y13 need reminding too!), thankfully my dept always has lots of leftover files, dividers etc that i can donate to help them make a start. It depends how many of them there are and how well you know them from before. My tutor group tends to be 17 and I teach a core subject so will mostly have met lots of them on their way through school.
     
  4. Although a few years ago, I found Year 12/13 to be the best to tutor. at that school we kept to a Key Stage team. Year 7s are all about silly things that get them upset, but the older ones tend to handle a lot of it. BUT, OTOH, I literally sat crying sometimes. The student who turned up home to find her bags on the pavement. The girl with breast cancer. The one who got pregnant. The boy who crashed his car and killed two of his classmates. The girl who died from leukemia - she refused to give up. We both cried when she came in to tell me it was back and she wasn't doing any more chemo. Did she give up? No, she came in to school as much as she could.
    But you will find it very rewarding if you put the effort in. I still have the goodbye cards from my last school, when I left, from all my Year 13s. At this age they appreciate the effort you put in and are not all me me me.
     
  5. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 New commenter

    Make sure you take time to get to know them as soon as you can - a substantial amount of my tutor time is just spent chatting together, which might seem really slack of me not to have structured things to do all the time but it's the best way to get to know them for when I'm writing references, helping them with careers/uni advice, being there for them if they have any problems, etc etc. 6th form is a stressful time, a lot of them aren't used to having so much independent work to do and having to do presentations and suchlike, so expect at least a few meltdowns, especially around exam/essay time - my form are mostly the sort of students who are quite bright but put a lot of pressure on themselves and get very stressed, so they were all a bit nuts whenever they had an exam or essay due. Lots of "I can't do it, I'm rubbish at it, I want to drop psychology/maths/French etc", floods of tears, arguing with each other because they're tired and stressed, dozing off in registration because they'd been up really late revising and so on...I had to do a lot of calming them down and convincing them that they CAN do it!
    The main things you can help them with from the outset is organisation (e.g. organising their folders as someone else suggested), managing their time, revision techniques, essay writing and stress relief. They did most of the work - I asked them all to share what sort of things made them feel stressed and what they've found that helps them, and strategies for managing their time and organising themselves. They found it very useful (so did I!).
    I've teamed up with two teachers in my department who have Y7 classes, and my form do regular reading with anyone who has literacy problems, they create a weekly quiz or other activity that they go and do with the Y7 groups and we have a homework help session at least once a week where the Y7s can come and get help with anything they're stuck on (my form decided in advance who would be responsible for which subjects, since they all do different things).
    To help them build up things they can put on CVs/UCAS applications, I keep an ear out for any staff who might need help with anything and get pupils in my form to get involved, e.g. some of them have helped to organise school trips, sports events etc or help out regularly in KS3 lessons for the subjects they're studying. I had a 6th form student helping in one of my low ability Y7 lessons and she was an absolute legend, she made such a difference to the lesson and the younger kids really like having a 6th former in with them. They actually listened to her more than they did to me when she told them to stop talking!
     
  6. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    To my now year 13 form, I am their mum at school - they know that I will be the very first person to praise them for something good, that I will support them as far as I can, that they can come to me with their woes, whether they be academic, social or practical, and that I will be the person who comes down hardest on them when they mess up.
    Repeating students often ask to be in my form because I make a point of knowing them, and keeping on top of them - I have all their timetables in a file in the office, and I have been known to put them on free period detention in my classroom if things are not going well. I stick to the rules with grim determination, even when other VI form tutors don't - so my form have the best attendance in the year, and this is reflected in their AS results. This has meant phonecalls and letters home (they HATE it but it's what the VI form policy says we'll do)
    We interview all of our tutees before they join us (most of my form are actually new to the school) and I keep a note of their interests and activities over the year so the UCAS reference writing is easier. As someone else said, I don't tend to overly structure the time I have with them (mainly because last year I only saw them for pm registrations) but we chat about the things that they need dealt with. There are times when I have to be more strict with them about getting things done - like when we start UCAS next week, and when they're mid-exam stress - but I have found that my approach works. My form are a tight knit bunch - they socialise together, sometimes even with me, and support each other. My last form, now going into their second year at uni, and I are meeting for dinner next weekend. I wouldn't swap being a VI form tutor for anything, even with the tears and trauma that often comes with it.
     
  7. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 New commenter

    Summed up nicely!
     

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