Happiness by @IrascibleBabble

Name: Gemma Cornwall
Twitter name: @IrascibleBabble
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Computer Science & Economics
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Happiness

1: Your students won’t be happy if you are miserable. Don’t let whatever happened in the last hour’s lesson/meeting influence your behaviour towards your next class.

2: Happy kids are more willing to learn. Spend the first couple of minutes asking about stuff they care about.

3: Positive reinforcement creates a much happier atmosphere. Even the ‘too cool for school’ kids secretly love stickers.

4: Learn how much banter you can get away with whilst still maintaining control of your class.

5: If you are known as a happy teacher, kids will want to do a lot more for you than the miserable old bag down the corridor.

Being a Good Form Tutor by @molin_bryan

Name: Bryan Molin
Twitter name: @molin_bryan
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable):
Position: Assistant Principal
What is your advice about? Being a good form tutor

1: Treat your form time with the same respect and passion as your lessons. Have clear set routines for your students.

2: Be relentlessly consistent and positive with behaviour management. You are your students’ advocate in school and the person who knows how to get them ready for learning.

3: Your form group is a community. Celebrate individual and collective successes – no matter how small – as a group.

4: Remember their wellbeing is paramount. Listen to them, pay attention to their concerns and report them if appropriate.

5: Make time for fun and bonding activities, like reward trips, pizza afternoons, quiz Fridays. Be creative and put a personal touch to your form time.

Relationships by @ganz776

Name: mn
Twitter name: @ganz776
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): D&T
Position: Deputy Head
What is your advice about? Relationships

1: Relationships are key to engaging students in positive behaviour. If you do not know the students they are not as likely to respond positively.

2: If you have a positive relationship with students,  they are more likely to be ‘on-side’ when you want to talk to them about their behaviour.

3: If you show interest in students and who they are. They are more likely to be interested in what you have to say.

4: Never lose your temper, keep calm, addressing the behaviour not the child. Keep a positive (but firm) tone when required.

5: Being assertive and positive is possible, you can confront without being confrontational. This will be most successful when students know and trust you.

Being a Great Form Tutor by @mrdwyerhistory

Name: Paul Dwyer
Twitter name: @mrdwyerhistory
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Sixth Form/general school
Position: Director of Sixth Form
What is your advice about? Being a great form tutor

1: Talk to all your students individually as often as possible. Keep mini tallies on who you speak to in order to be mindful of touching base with everyone over a week.

2: Be proactive with parents. An email or phone call to introduce yourself at the beginning of the year can do wonders. Praise or raise concerns concerns early with parents.

3: Make tutor time meaningful; sessions should be planned and have purpose. Whether inspiring debates or team building,  all pupils should take something away from tutor time.

4: Don’t be afraid to work with your pastoral leaders. Talk to Heads of Year/House if you aren’t sure about how to best support a student or engage with a whole group.

5: You are the point of liaison for students. This doesn’t mean defending them to colleagues over work/behaviour, but it can sometimes be offering the student viewpoint.

Form Tutor Role by @KDWScience

Name: Karen Duxbury -Watkinson
Twitter name: @KDWScience
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Science
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Form tutor role

1: Make sure you know all their names very quickly. Find out something unique about each tutee.

2: Provide a safe environment where they they can come talk to you about anything, especially Year 7 or Year 11 – these are the tough years.

3: Make sure you read all the notices out as other teachers get cross if you don’t.

4: Get to know the parents as they will support you when things are tough. But make sure you also call them when things are good for your tutees as well.

5: Celebrate all their successes both inside and outside school. Foster a sense of belonging, pride and team work.

College Processes by @Functionalise

Name: Amanda Kelly
Twitter: @Functionalise
Sector:  FE
Subject: Maths
Position: Learning Manager
5 Bits of Advice About: College processes

  1. Make friends with the Administration team, they will help you find your way round the various administration processes.
  2. The register is a legal document…treat it like one!
  3. Attend team meetings, especially if your post is fractional. The job is easier if you know what else is happening and have connection with the rest of the department.
  4. The art of delegation is a great one to master but keep track of tasks that you have passed on…when SLT want a progress report it is you they will ask!
  5. FE can be last chance saloon for some learners & they make errors in judgement – don’t judge them for their mistakes but steer them in the right direction.

Being a Form Tutor by @bexn91

Name: Rebecca Nobes
Twitter: @bexn91
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: MFL
Position: Teacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Being a form tutor

  1. Make an effort to get to know your tutees and their interests. If you’re going to be with this group for 5 years this is even more important.
  2. Get into routines. There are so many things that tutors have to check/do every week so make sure the students know what is coming and when, it’ll make things much simpler.
  3. Encourage them to get to know each other, it’s very easy for them to get into their groups stick with them. They should be a team (or so I try to tell mine!).
  4. Get to know the parents. So many of the issues, and sometimes the positives, will drop into your inbox so get to know the parents early on.
  5. Enjoy it. You’re going to be seeing them for 15/20 minutes a day, so find an enjoyable way of making things work for all of you.

Being a Form Tutor by Gavin Warke

Name: Gavin Warke
Twitter: None given
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: MFL and Geography
Position: NQT
5 Bits of Advice About: Being a form tutor

  1. Have clear and rigid boundaries; ensure the students know these.
  2. Establish basic routines early on and stick to them. Even if the kids don’t like it they are YOUR routines, make them do it.
  3. Be nice, don’t come in first day all guns blazing and expecting the students to respond well to you.
  4. Be firm but polite, I have seen many teachers be rude and humiliate kids. I just isn’t nice. Model the behaviour we would accept as adults.
  5. Make time to get to know the kids, they are your bread and butter!

Tutor Period by @whatonomy

Name: Whatonomy
Twitter: @whatonomy
Sector:  Primary
Subject: Literacy and EAL
Position: Head of English
5 Bits of Advice About: Tutor time

  1. Use it as if it matters. Don’t allow it to descend into routine ticks and reminders. It sets the tone for the day.
  2. Look at the news: resources like First News are great for sharing stories, holding news quizzes & building general knowledge.
  3. If you can, let one period be silent reading. At the end, ask random students to share something short about their book.
  4. Every once in a while toss a thought problem or a ‘thunk’ at your tutees. This sets an expectation at the start of the day that use of brains will be mandatory today.
  5. Let the students to have a say in something meaningful: circle time, choosing time, school council. You’re the boss, but you’re the best boss they’ve ever had.

Being a Form Tutor by @teach_smith

Name: Daniel Smith
Twitter: @teach_smith
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: English
Position: Teacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Being a form tutor

  1. Have a seating plan for form time and have high expectations of behaviour in form time in general.
  2. There should be a set task for each day of the week, for example Friday can be silent reading.
  3. Hold a social event every year for your form, this can be ambitious or just a get together after school.
  4. Have regular conversations with members of your form and get to know them early on.
  5. Chase up all behaviour issues. This may mean setting your own detentions, meeting subject teachers or calling home.