Case study 2
Induction information for NQTs
Joanna Deekes, Classics Teacher
Tutoring and pastoral responsibilities as an NQT
I think most NQTs would agree that the pastoral side of teaching is given little coverage during the PGCE year as the demands of learning how to teach, refreshing one’s own learning and dealing with classroom management issues appear far more important in terms of learning the craft of the classroom. Therefore, at the start of the Autumn term, the mammoth task of taking on a tutor group is daunting to say the least. In terms of administration, time and emotion, one soon learns the necessity to juggle both academic and pastoral responsibilities is paramount. I certainly felt that first half term was a baptism of fire. I think I was on auto-pilot for the first three weeks, the adrenalin was pumping and the only way I could get through the day was not thinking about the next!
Yes, it was challenging but it was also very rewarding in the sense that I could begin to carve out a relationship with a class of twenty two students in a non academic classroom situation, which was both new and exciting. My school has a strong pastoral policy so communication with tutees’ parents, particularly new parents, is strongly encouraged. As a new Year 9 tutor, I telephoned each of my tutees’ parents and introduced myself and opened up the lines of communication. This initial personal touch adopted by the school, was highly appreciated by parents and smoothes the way at parents’ evenings to developing communication between home and school.
I was also given the opportunity by my school to participate in a day of INSET on “The Essential Role of the Form Tutor”. This provided me with up-to-date, useful and relevant information on how to deliver PSHE, deal with problem tutees and enhance tutor time. I am planning a tutor “Masterchef “competition for this term, as so many of my tutees seem to enjoy Food Technology enormously. It seems simple but knowing what makes your tutees tick is the key to rewarding and enjoyable tutor time! We have also been afforded time during INSET at school to discuss how PSHE could be better delivered which is something I would like to focus on in my next term.
I am looking forward to continuing and enhancing my pastoral role and am keen to move in this direction professionally.