Form tutors(8 Posts)
Anyone else here a form tutor? We had a pastoral meeting tonight. We got criticised because not all pupils are filling in their planners properly. They are meant to fill in how they have been a good citizen, how they have been a team worker, independent learner etc etc.
Then a spiel about how we have to deal with them if they wear make up, more than 1 pair of earrings etc.
I've been teaching 11 years and I don't give a shit if they have make up on or if they have had their nose pierced. Because I care about their learning. All this planner stuff is just bloody box ticking. I managed to get through school without filling in my own attendance tracker, citizenship stuff etc. Is it just me who finds this such a pita?
Pastoral care means creating the right environment for learning to take place. If you think that the school's policies are stupid then you should change school.
I don't believe the kids writing in any of this stuff actually helps their learning. We do that as subject teachers in marking, feedback and how we actually engage with the kids. I speak to them, I help them with other subjects where I can. I don't feel that by not having ensured the sections are all filled in means I am not fulfilling a pastoral role.
You believe your interpretation of what is important is correct and that doesn't align with what your employer wants. Part of your role is to maintain a school-wide standard and to get them to reflect on aspects of how they work, and complete that in their planners. If you think of it as "just bloody box ticking" then your tutees are not getting the most out of their time with you. You are meant to discuss it with them all, show examples and help them understand how they can learn independently as well. If your approach is that it's all ridiculous and a waste of time then you are not fulfilling your role.
Similarly, you have opted to work in a school which has a rule that they should not wear make up. "I don't give a shit if they have make up on". Maybe you don't. That's irrelevant. Your role is to support that standard and ensure it is met. You are a member of a team who work together, not a lone wolf who makes independent decisions about which aspects of the job should be ignored and which should not.
Do the job you're being asked to do.
Sympathies, OP - DS is a non-filler-in'er
He doesn't wear make-up of have piercings though
Your DS is allowed to be flakey and not like or appreciate things. That's what his tutor is there to encourage and insist on.
It reminds me of why I'm glad I'm not a form tutor any more. I remember having to administer fucking learning styles questionnaires.
You might not give a shit about uniform, but the school does so you just have to do your job there. I turn a blind eye in lessons to less contentious stuff because I don't want to waste lesson time, but tutor time is for that sort of stuff.
And the citizen stuff. You might think it's tedious crap but that's because you're a cynical world-weary teacher. Some Y7 out there might get something out of it, and the others just need to be told to play the game.
Perhaps you can make it into a more "fun" and useful activity by discussing with the tutor group as a whole occasions when they have worked as a team, learned independently, etc. Perhaps you could give some colourful examples to get the discussion going (e.g. independent learning via watching YouTube tutorials on how to do hair or make-up. Presumably no one reads this guff inside their planners so you might as well enjoy doing it).
You could also have a debate with them about the pros and cons of school uniform, get them thinking about human rights, ask them whether they think teachers should wear uniform, etc.
Another topic I have found my tutor group getting vocal about is sanctions...ask them what they think should be sanctioned and how, e.g. if nose piercings are fine, what isn´t, and what is the best way to punish it?
Or just bribe them with sweets and a stopwatch to see how quickly they can fill in the blanks...
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