Weekly Update #5!
I hope you have all had a great week at school. Only 1 week to go for most of you but please check term dates with your Regional Directors and school if you are uncertain! My winter coat has been put away again as we are supposed to be having some lovely weather over the weekend so I hope you all get the chance to get out and about and get lots of lovely fresh air and enjoy this brilliant, colourful time of the year!
DON'T FORGET TO GET YOUR TIMESHEETS IN
So, what’s been going on this week?
Another week of policies, policies, policies for me! Some nice intervals of tutor enrichment planning - for the cinema event, MMI/ Oxbridge and University interview practice event on Saturday 11th November (see below) and also planning for the Christmas refresher inductions which will be held on Wednesday 20th December followed by the various regional Christmas parties. Lots of things to be looking forward to!
My weekly reminder that if you know of anyone who may be taking a gap year after their A levels this summer who would make a great tutor remember there is a £50 finders fee if you recommend them and they work successfully for us!
Mock Interviews – Saturday 11th November
We will be running mock interviews on Saturday 11th November for anyone who feels they could do with some practice before the real thing. We are basing this on the style of the Medics MMI interviews. You have 6 stations that everyone rotates around and each station is a different challenge- they are more maths/ science/ analysis based but the main thrust is to really push you out of your comfort zone and challenge you so everyone is welcome. Each interviewer will be providing feedback, not just on your answers but also on your general performance such as your communication skills and body language etc. It was run purely for the Medics last year but we appreciate that this sort of challenging experience will help everyone when approaching interviews.
We do need to get numbers as soon as possible and so please respond by way of the website by latest Friday 20th October.
Lots of new approaches this week – trying to get in touch with schools all across the land. I absolutely love doing this part of the job and talking about the work we do to all sorts of people. The responses are so varied and you never know what you’re going to get which makes it fascinating!
Regional Directors' News
I have to say, this has been one of my favourite weeks so far. I absolutely loved getting the chance to visit some of the tutors in school and the feedback has been phenomenal! I visited Manchester Health Academy, The Barlow, UTC@MediaCityUK, Whalley Range High School, Glossopdale and Broadoak - so quite the tour of the North West! Don't worry if I haven't got round to you yet, I'm still busy booking visits in. Next week I'm taking a few trips to Oldham and I'm really looking forward to it!
Norwich, Peterborough and Derby
NPD news extends into the North East this week as I’ve been trying to arrange a position in Durham for a potential new tutor. I’ve also had some great feedback about lots of my team - Humaira, Tia and Alice last week during my visit to Norwich where Tia and Alice both have an extra day of support each confirmed after half term and Lizzie, Niamh and Becca in their primaries in Derby. It’s been great to hear/read such good comments about you all. Chasing up the P’boro feedback next week!
London, Reading and Leicester
Ups and downs this week with a bout of illness hitting me on Monday evening. Luckily my tutors are made of sterner stuff than me and have all been fantastic this week! I've had new candidates to interview, placements for after New Year to sort out and of course Riya's fantastic start at Mulberry UTC. They've been dying for a tutor since the start of the year and I'm so glad that it's Riya after all of this time - they'll be over the moon! Well done on a 10/10 start. I got in to observe Patrick this week at South Bank UTC and was blown away - he's got such a good relationship already with students and staff there and they could not stop singing his praises. The Head of English even believed me when I said he was "an excellent beat-boxer" (no, seriously!) Very proud of you this week, Patrick!
Cheshire and North Wales
Another week down and the first half term is almost finished. This is definitely the toughest part of the year and you've all done brilliantly with settling in so well. Speaking of settling in, my first visit took place this week. These visits are a great chance for you to discuss your time in school and I really enjoy them. With just a couple of schools left to confirm dates, I should be checking in with you all soon! My main focus this week has been driving up the contact with more schools to find new placements. Interviews are still ongoing and new tutors apply all the time, so I hope there will be a lot more joining my team this year.
Yorkshire and the Humber
This week has been a fairly quiet one with regard to you all now very much settled into your roles and most creases ironed out - can you believe it's been over a month since you all landed in school already! I was so pleased to hear everyone was happy on our weekly call! Elsewhere I've been busy following up introductions to new schools and making new introductions with three days confirmed for an exciting school in Wakefield which is a new area for me - more to come on that! Don't forget to get time sheets in this week!!
Wall of Happy
Joss is first off the mark this week
Wall of Happy this week is the moment that Muhammed sent his Tutor Top 10 to Catherine with the health warning: *BEWARE THIS MIXTAPE IS STRAIGHT FIRE* Given Catherine's Health and Safety bent these last few weeks I'm sure she appreciated the heads up! I was feeling at death's door on Tuesday and it really cheered me up - extremely funny, Muhammed!
Followed closely by Jess!
The Wall of Happy is almost falling under the weight of all the brilliant tutors to mention this week. I'm incredibly proud of each and everyone one of you for settling so well and for really embracing your role already. My week was so positive because of my visits to school so thank you to Maya, Sam, Faris, Ansab, Aisha, Ann, Issy and Holly for working so hard and giving staff a reason to sing your praises. I'm sure my visits next week will be the same again!
Then there's Anne
First shout out goes to Tia this week who has been incredibly proactive and come along with a solution to a question, rather than just bringing the question! This is always really appreciated, thanks Tia, great job!
Also it was brilliant to see the P’boro and Derby teams going for their socials on Wednesday - pictures on Twitter of the Santa-themed escape room (they got out with 2 mins to spare) and the Derby bowlers. You looked like you were having a great time.
Finally, Humaira got her groups at Wymondham College which will really help with the structure there - excelente trabajo, Humaira!!
Next to Alan
Another new starter this week - welcome to Jack! He has officially started his placement at Wilmslow and all feedback from school has been very positive - well done! I've also begun my visits to schools this week and started with a trip to Beamont Collegiate Academy - Robyn and Renate have done a great job of getting stuck in and this makes a huge difference to how staff and students will see you throughout the year.
And, finally to Carrie
Wall of happy this week has to start with the amazing time we had at our bowling / Quasar event on Saturday! Courtney, our region’s very own sporting queen took the crown at bowling too, losing to me and Saul half way through the game her determination saw Courtney snatch the win in the last few bowls! We had more winners at Quasar where Louis took the title in a free for all battle with us and members of the public with Lauren coming in third place - it was so much fun! Finally, this week can't go by without mentioning Josh, whose been selected to play for Cottingham Rangers football club - massive well done and good luck Josh!
... in Manchester and London
This week’s What’s On comes from Ramsha - Here’s her message:
Hi all, hope you all are doing good. There is an expo coming up on 11 and 12 of November in Manchester and London. If anyone is interested in doing medicine or dentistry in European universities, here is the link to book the tickets for it: http://www.medicaldoorway.com/md-expo-2017/
Muhammed's Top 10 Tunes
It’s Muhammed’s turn this week to provide his top 10 tunes. Quickest response to a request yet and it comes with a warning….
*BEWARE THIS MIXTAPE IS STRAIGHT FIRE*
Thanks so much for this Muhammed- I have done the risk assessment and we should all be fine.
If you have not done so already, can I ask everyone who has any resits to let their Regional Director know by next Friday latest please?
World Mental Health Awareness Day
It’s a huge thanks to Jess this week for providing the following excellent review of this very important issue:
World Mental Health Awareness Day was held on Tuesday 10th October this year. If your social media feeds were anything like mine, it was quite hard to ignore the fact that this day meant so much to so many people. It is a really important day and something we feel strongly about here at yipiyap. 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year, now that statistic really hits home when realise we have a yipiyap team of 60+. We consider it our duty to support you (and each other) throughout your gap year and this is why our code of conduct states that tutors will be supported and encouraged to perform to their full potential. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to and we want you to know that we are always here, no matter how big or small you consider an issue.
The charity https://www.mind.org.uk/ aim to raise awareness of mental health and it provides support to people that are experiencing mental health issues. The website has a brilliant section called 'tips for everyday living' where you can click on options such as stress, loneliness etc and it gives brilliant advice. I especially liked the section on mindfulness as we try and practise this every day in the office! If I've had a stressful call or meeting, I will take a few minutes to myself and refocus my energy into the positive work we are doing. This can be as simple as walking away from my phone/laptop and taking a moment to make a cup of tea. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a minute at break or lunch time to go for a walk and take some deep breaths. If you're a fan of hot drinks you could also try my cup of tea technique. Remember, you are having a positive impact each day and you shouldn't let anything bring you down!
One thing I feel really helpful with anxiety and stress is meditation. I recently discovered an app called 'Headspace' and this gives short lessons on breathing techniques to help focus and settle your thoughts. I do each three minute session before bed and I really find this useful for getting a good night’s rest, something I always struggled with. If you remember back to our induction day I discussed wellbeing and keeping healthy over the year. Eating well, exercising and getting a good night’s rest are all vital for your physical and mental wellbeing so remember to look after yourselves.
So, have a brilliant weekend and week ahead folks!