Well, I hope you are all well and have had a really productive week with your students this week. Schools are really gearing up for the final push, particularly with their GCSE students, so you will be an invaluable resource over the coming weeks and months. Give it your all and be the inspiring role models that each and everyone of you are. Be the person your students remember as the one who gave them a passion for their subject and who they will remember for years to come.
So, what’s been going on this week?
I have had a great week starting at Bilborough College in Nottingham on Monday, the alma mater of Hafsa, our Nottingham tutor! Hopefully we will have a few more Hafsa’s coming our way for next year!! Finger’s crossed! Then amongst the many interviews (did I mentioned I am interviewing at the moment??) we had our RD meeting on Wednesday which is always a highlight to hear how everyone is getting on in their respective schools and the differences you are making. Lots of great ideas flying around too. I enjoyed seeing the World Book Day photos on Thursday with the tutors getting involved with their departments!
My usual reminder about the £50 finder’s fee if you recommend a friend and they work successfully for us until July! Lots of schools are looking to pick up last minute support for the build up to exams so if any if your friends have come back from travelling, for example, and need something to do until July, please send them through!
I’ve had another busy week of contacting schools about support for next year but had two rather interesting diversions in and amongst.
First was an (unusal for me these days) visit to a Careers Fair at one of our local colleges. A little more of this later on but it was a nice break from the norm to go and meet some prospective tutors.
Second, whilst I was updating my school records I came across this TED talk from one of my long-time favourite Heads – Manny Botwe of Tytherington School in Cheshire. If you have 12 mins, give it a watch and I’m sure it will lend an endorsement to the conversations you have with your students about how their day is going. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVFLMumg3xw
Before we move on to our RD news we have a special announcement to make…
We are absolutely delighted to reveal that not one…, not two…, but three of our current Senior Tutors have accepted a role as RD starting in September. Tia, Niamh and Adam will be taking over responsibility for Norfolk, Derby and Denbighshire respectively and having worked in these areas over the last two years we know they will do a fantastic job.
On behalf of all of us, we are thrilled that you are joining the RD team and look forward to easing you into your new roles over the rest of the year!
Norwich, Peterborough and Derby
Our first support in Derby is confirmed for next year through the Virtual School – continuing our successful Primary placements for a third year. This is a great start and as I’m coming to Derby again this week, fingers crossed for more interest in the pipeline!
It’s been a relatively quiet week compared to my previously hectic weeks of travelling around to interview. I’ve mostly been working on getting the support order forms out for next year and arranging some more interviews to take place in the office. I’ve also been speaking with our senior tutors to try and come up with some ideas for the tutor choice social and the charity challenge week. I’ll have a plan together soon and I’m looking forward to getting everything started.
Denbighshire and Cheshire
Another month, another RD meeting, and a bunch of new ideas for the year ahead. Every year, we improve our induction and training processes for future cohorts, and this year we're really revamping what we cover in September and it's exciting to see this new approach take shape. I had a really stand-out interview this week with a potential tutor for next year. She's dedicated years to swimming competitively and has her eyes on the olympics - this obviously takes a ton of dedication and it was reminiscent of Joel with his own sky-high aspirations. It would be great to have such role models on next year's team! More interviews to come at my college visit next week, alongside a couple of school visits that are now booked too.
Flintshire and Wrexham
It’s been a welcome back to half term 4 for the Wrexham and Flintshire team this week – I can’t believe we’re half way through the year already. To reference last week’s pedagogy post, time flies when you’re having fun! It was great to see Anne, Catherine, Halyna and the RD’s this week at the monthly meeting, lots of productive discussions as ever. I’ve also been over to Wrexham to see Harry and Rebecca at Bryn Alyn and in particular to see Harry in action with students. Recruitment has also continued over at St Richard Gwyn in Flint where I was able to follow up my recent presentation with an interview for one of their students.
London, Yorkshire and The Humber
Really pleased this week that our final new team member, Georgia, has made a start in Bradford. Welcome to the team!!! I'll be in touch soon with everyone about upcoming TEP events - I'll be needing your help coming up with ideas for Tutor Choice and Charity Challenge events. We've got such a great team this year I'm confident we can smash all the records! Watch this space!
Wall of Happy
This week Alan starts us off with his special mentions
A great first week to Emma who has settled in to her new placement at Rainhill. I'm hoping to come in for a visit once your timetable is more established, but I'm really glad you've got off to a positive start there. Here’s to the next few weeks!
Next to Richard
It’s always a highlight for me when I get to see tutors in action and I really enjoyed seeing Harry working with some Y8 students on laws of indices this week. It was the first time he’d worked with them but within half an hour they had gone from quiet, nervous students who seemed reluctant to ask questions to very relaxed, smiling and asking for plenty of advice to tackle problems – really good stuff!
It’s also great to hear about the offers which are coming in thick and fast from Uni’s now for current tutors. Good luck to Katie with her interview at Cardiff!
Now over to Jess
Well done to Maryam for receiving an offer to study Dentistry! I remember you mentioning your passion for your future career in your first interview so it’s lovely to see your success.
On Tuesday I had a lovely call from Carolyn at Reddish. She said that Lewis and Ore have been incredible this year and they are definitely interested in continuing with support next year. It’s great to have been so successful in a new school and have them interested in working with us again next year so thanks for your hard work!
Thanks Elena for sending a photo of your costume for World Book Day. It really made my Thursday morning!
Now to Anne
Firstly I want to thank Tia, Niamh and Hannah for embracing the organisation of the upcoming TEP events. We already have five 10k runners in Derby on 12th May so my team please let Tia/Niamh know if you want to do the run, and keep the ideas for the Tutor Choice event coming.
Second to Louie and Hafsa for making a good start in their new placements this week, really good to hear you both so happy about them!
Finally to everyone who got to dress up for World Book Day – you all made a wonderful effort and certainly made me smile!!
And, finally to Joss
Wall of happy this week is another fantastic Regional Director's Meeting this week which always makes for a great feeling heading into the weekend! So many opportunities to share the stories of tutor successes over the last month as well as discussing new ideas for the business going forward. Gaurav got another shout out this week for his fantastic positivity and evangelism in Bradford - we've had at least two great tutors come on board for next year thanks in part to your efforts so thank you again!
World Book Day
As it’s been World Book Day this week, here are some pics of this year’s tutors in action and some of the Yipiyap juniors past and present!
Fake it ‘til You Make it!
This week, I found a brilliant article about the importance of confidence and self belief. During the interview process at Yipiyap, almost everyone mentions a desire to develop their confidence during their gap year. It’s a key skill to have in life (that’s right, it is a skill!) and this article is incredibly relevant to every single one of you, including everyone at Yipiyap HQ too!
When you’re in need of a confidence boost, there are ways to channel your inner warrior. It’s that magic ingredient that gets most human endeavours off the ground. With it you can shoot for the stars. Without it, opportunities can fizzle out faster than damp fireworks. “We tend to doubt ourselves more and underestimate our own abilities,” believes leadership expert Margie Warrell, who says that confidence breeds more confidence. “It’s a snowball effect: if you’re confident enough to walk into a room and introduce yourself, for instance, you’ll learn things from it and get feedback that affirms you. Then you can try something bigger next time.” (Remind anyone of their first day in the staff room?)
How to BUILD confidence
There’s a host of things we can do to build confidence. Firstly, we need to learn to “doubt the doubt”, as Warrell puts it. And – crucially – not let it dictate our decisions. “No one is immune from fear of failure,” says Warrell. “It’s part and parcel of being human. It’s what we do next that matters.”
Building confidence requires us to step out of our comfort zone, even when we might fail. “Becoming confident means doing the very thing we wish we were confident enough to do,” says Warrell. DO IT.
How to FEEL confident
You’ve set yourself a goal. Perhaps you’ve agreed to do a presentation at work, and you can already feel the beads of perspiration gathering. Remember, action begets confidence – actions of confidence come first, feelings of confidence come second. So practise, practise, practise. “If you want to become a confident public speaker, you have to practise,” says Dr Russ Harris. The idea is that eventually we achieve “flow”, when our skills align perfectly with the task at hand and we’re in the confidence zone.
Fear can be a great source of energy and motivation – just ask any top-level athlete or performer. The trick is to not get hooked on that inner voice telling you that you’re bound to make a fool of yourself. A mindfulness trick can help you overcome your emotions in the moment. “Let negative thoughts float by,” says Dr Harris. “Think of them as leaves floating on a river. Instead, focus your full attention on the task.”
How to RADIATE confidence
Our body language, speech and even our clothes can all radiate confidence – or the opposite. Rehearsing will help you control the power dynamic and hold your own. “The idea is that you see yourself in action and you’re aware of how your posture and facial expressions change as you speak.” Stand tall and take up space. Research has shown that confidence is non-verbally displayed through height and space, so keep your posture straight, your shoulders back and your head held high.
I hope you find this useful!
Continuing the theme of pace this week here are a few other points to think about with regards to your sessions.
Give students visual points of reference. If you have a set of instructions that you need students to follow make sure they are available on your board, or on a Powerpoint/Prezi or on a worksheet. You want to avoid the situation where students with poor listening skills are continually losing their flow to ask what they have to do next.
I’ve said this before but check for understanding, check for understanding and then check for understanding some more! Be the detective in the classroom by listening in to conversations or by scanning the work that students are producing. This will give you evidence as to whether you can move on or not as well as informing you which students are a priority for further support.
Get students to give you non-verbal signals about how they feel they are progressing. Thumbs up/thumbs down gives you an immediate visual steer as to how confident your students are feeling and whether they are ready to move on to something different.
Use a variety of activities and styles so that sessions don’t seem monotonous. If all of your sessions feel the same there is the danger that students can get over-familiar or even bored so try to mix things up. This would be an excellent conversation to have with your colleagues in your team about how they use different approaches for different lessons or groups of students.
Amir and Lewis’ Top 20 Tunes
It’s thanks to Lewis and Amir for sharing their favorite tunes with us all this week and making me feel about 150 years old! I have to put my hand up and admit to only knowing one of the songs on this list of 20 (guess which!!) and I really feel like an old granny….
So folks I am going to completely entrust you to the choices to Lewis and Amir this week in the confidence that they have good taste in this new fangled music malarkey!! Just don’t play it TOO LOUD!!!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!