I hope you have all had a great week. Can you believe it is only 26 days until Christmas? Did I mentioned I LOVE CHRISTMAS? I hope you all have your advent calendars ready. I managed to wrestle my daughter for the chocolate one! It’s for her own good! Embrace all the fun at school and enjoy every day.
So, what’s been going on this week?
We are all waiting with baited breath in the office for the arrival of the new, improved recruitment packs from the printers. Thank you so much to Anne for all of her time and energy in making them better than ever! Thank you also to Ruwaydah for all of her help this week with getting the recruitment tracker populated and for handwriting 200 compliment slips to go with the packs! Brilliant work! So neat!!! Next week, they will be posted and our recruitment drive wil be underway! Then, all I want for Christmas is a team just like you for 2019/2020!!! Come on Santa!!!
My weekly reminder that if you know of anyone who has already finished their A levels or may be taking a gap year after their A levels next summer who would make a great tutor remember there is a £50 finder’s fee if you recommend them and they work successfully for us!
Poor Catherine has had a solid week of me being very giddy at the prospect (awaited for a whole year now!) of going to see Hamilton this weekend! The Morris household has been prepping for months and now the big day is arriving tomorrow!! If you don’t know Hamilton, it is THE musical of the moment, the Les Mis of its time, and if you haven’t heard it, it’s time to treat yourself! Get your spotify on, phone off the hook and prepare to be wowed!
Elsewhere this week I’ve been completing and reviewing timesheet summaries, making contacts in new schools in Derby, interviewing for a new tutor position, getting the Recruitment Packs completely finished and requesting feedback about my team from our schools. It’s been a busy week but it’s over now and I don’t know if I mentioned but…I’m going to Hamilton tomorrow!!!
We’ve been really impressed by some tutors who have already got going producing their Impact Reports – very proactive! We usually intend that these are done in the last week of term but if you have time now and impact to report then there’s no problem with doing them a little early. If you are fairly new in your placement and don’t know the students that well yet, don’t worry, doing these now is really for tutors who have been in their placements since September. You will get a chance next half term!
Basic rules of Impact Reports are:
Check with your RD who you should do them for, it may not be necessary or practical to write one for every student if you see a lot. Tutors who work with LAC students should write one for each but as a rule please do check with your RD first so they can advise.
When writing them, you need to be honest. Please use professional language and try and give a balance and with a positive, proactive slant where possible, for example, rather than “J cannot sit still and I have to constantly tell her to get back to work” how about “J can produce really good work but sometimes she struggles to stay on task. I will continue to encourage J to focus and will ask her teacher if they know any good strategies to help with this.”
3. What next
Once you’ve completed the front page of your IR you must pass it to you RD for review before it goes to the teacher for the Teacher Comment. This is to check for typos, appropriate use of language, SPaG, etc. These documents represent the business so please respect the request to do this – it may be tempting to get everything finished and then pass it to your RD completed but please don’t. It is also really useful for your RD to see your reports as they also may be able to advise on strategies, give support to you, etc.
Your RD will pass the IRs to school and request the Teacher Comment. They will then feed back to you any comments the teachers make about individual students to you and help you in any way they can.
That’s it! Let the Reporting of Impact begin!
Norwich, Peterborough and Derby
Loads is happening across the team but there’s one thing that has stood out and made my week – former tutor from last year, Humayra, got in touch on Monday and will be rejoining Yipiyap as a Senior Tutor from next week. Hurray!!! Humayra puts the P in NPD and we are so delighted to have you back!
Great week from my N and D -ers too of course!!
This week has been all about Impact Reports for my team. A number of tutors are completing these based on the first term of support and the ones I have read so far have been excellent. I even had the opportunity to sit and help Kiran write hers which was lovely! I’m still completing another round of school visits and this week I went to Failsworth and St Antony’s. Great to see some fantastic work going on and I can’t believe the first term is almost over already.
Denbighshire and Cheshire
December tomorrow! As we approach Christmas, please keep an eye out for info on the Christmas induction - for my team, I'll be sending out a form on this shortly. I've rounded off the month with a final visit to Beamont to check in with Lois and April, and elsewhere have been ticking off as many small projects as possible. A small celebration and finally some relief as the last few minor email issues have been fixed this week. GDPR was another big focus of mine in the run up to May and now six months on it's time to review. Hoping to get this all wrapped up in time for Christmas!
Flintshire and Wrexham
It’s been a busy week of travelling around for me this week – and not just in North Wales. I was delighted to visit George over in Altrincham to see one of our more experienced tutors in action - what a fantastic job he is doing. It was a pleasure to spend a couple of lessons with him and I have to apologise for not being able to help myself and chipping in during his maths lessons, old habits die hard! I’ve been over to Ysgol Treffynnon to see Katie in action with some Y11 tutors and visited Deeside college to tell some Y12 students all about what we do at Yipiyap so it can hopefully form part of their longer-term planning.
London, Yorkshire and The Humber
What a super positive week! Seems like it’s interviews all round – congrats to Eloise, Niall, Tom and Ravi who’ve all informed me of big upcoming uni interviews – it’s a great feeling and I’m sure you’ll all smash it! It’s also been an overwhelmingly good week in terms of attendance, communication and general good moods! I’ve caught up with a lot of the team about various things and everyone’s attitude has just been fantastic. What a lovely bunch you are! Also delighted that Tom’s great work at OAC has meant they’ve bent over backwards to have him stay 2 days per week! They had said it was impossible so many times but clearly decided if they wanted to keep Tom they’d need a miracle and they found one! This is totally down to Tom’s relationship with the staff there so hats off.
Wall of Happy
This week Jess starts us off with her special mentions
Firstly, I want to give a huge shout out to Maryam for the work she is doing in her AP placement. She completed her Impact Reports this week and the amount of work she has powered through is really impressive. I can’t wait to get the student voice questionnaire back!
Another birthday in the Manchester region this week! Happy Birthday for Sunday, Lewis. I hope you have a great weekend.
You’ve all been great at getting back to me about the Christmas induction, but if you haven’t done so already please do respond to my email from earlier in the week!
Next to Anne
I’m giving over some of my WOH space to a happy little moment Halyna had this week. For the first time (maybe ever?!) the list of tutors who have signed to say they confirm that they have read the Employee Handbook is complete! It was a wonderful sight to behold as Halyna scrolled down the list with delight at the uniformity! This is not to say that Tutors haven’t read it previously but the fact that they are all signed off was great – well done Team Yipiyap 2018/19!
Also, very importantly, great feedback for Ahkin, Carla and Faye this week – all Excellent, well done to all three of you!
Lastly to Hannah for arranging the meet up for the Great DANCOP EMWPREP Form Distribution in Derby - really appreciate being able to leave that to you, Hannah, and thanks to Niamh for offering to take charge of the rest of those lovely forms!
Now over to Joss
Wall of happy – first seeing Krish at work at ATS. Really impressed by the bond he has with the (at times difficult!) learners there and how he handles a slightly awkward arrangement with the (at times not there when they need to be!) staff – always making sure there’s someone there for the kids when there should be. He’s doing an unbelievable job for us and for them. I also wanted to shout out Cameron this week who’s had to travel across to Bradford for a trial day at a new school. The proposition I made him was so wacky he would have had every right to just say no – but that’s not like Cameron at all! Instead, he took it in his stride, made the trip across and put in a fantastic account of himself at the new school. Textbook Yipiyap stuff all round! Well done and thank you!
Now to Alan
This week goes to April for some really strong feedback from school during my visit. It's great how much ownership you've been given within the department, and running the competitions board to get the students involved was really nice to see. Both you and Lois have adapted really well to having two very different placements and certainly in Heather's view, you've got exactly the temperament she needs of tutors in that out of school placement.
And, finally to Richard
The highlight of my week has definitely been seeing Katie working with two Y11 students who are preparing for their mocks. As well as building up a good relationship with each of the students, I was really impressed with the quality of the sessions she had planned. In one session, picking out rich questions for a student to work on, which required them to think about several different aspects of maths, was great and exposed some gaps in knowledge for the student to work on. In another session the work had been differentiated so that questions went from highly structured and supported through to little support as the student’s confidence grew. I was really impressed by this as well as Katie’s willingness to get feedback about questioning so that she could continue to develop herself and become even more effective. Fantastic!!
This week here are a few more ideas relating to feedback before we move on to a new area next time.
7. Sharing personal experiences
By this I don’t mean what you did with your friends over the weekend but examples from your own learning experiences which say “Hey...I’ve been there!” to the student and help foster a relationship of mutual respect. Besides increasing the sense of connection, sharing personal experiences makes the feedback feel more authentic and meaningful. Students want to learn from real world experiences. For example, “I used to find it really helpful when preparing for mocks to use post-it notes in a revision guide to highlight topics I found hard so I could go and ask for help with them”.
8. Two-way process
Getting feedback from students is just as important as giving feedback to them. Getting them to be open and honest and to ask as many questions as they need to is the best way to get to the root of learning issues. My mantra was always “The only bad question is the one you don’t ask when you needed to” i.e. every question about learning is a good question no matter how trivial it may seem.
9. Providing encouragement
Sometimes learners just need a few positive words of encouragement (e.g., “You can do it!”) that show them you are invested in and support their learning. Providing encouragement often rekindles learners’ enthusiasm for an assignment or project and motivates them to keep improving their work. Always praise effort above achievement as it is far more important – without effort there will be no achievement anyway.
And now for some inspiration… The Story of Jack Ma
This is the story of Jack Ma. You may know it.
Jack Ma was born in China in the 1960s. He was reasonably smart and very resilient. He applied for many, many jobs and got rejected. KFC came to his home town and 24 people applied for jobs. 23 people got one but Jack didn’t. He applied to Harvard as an international student 10 times. 10 times he got rejected.
He was however good at English and eventually got a job acting as a guide for English and American tourists on the Great Wall of China. One day one of his clients was Jerry Yang. Jerry Yang was an American who, at the time, ran Yahoo! They got talking and became friends.
That conversation sparked an interest in Jack and he spent time understanding the web, which was at a very early stage in China, and he eventually started a yellow pages type of listing business. He’d stayed in touch with Jerry Yang who gave him a bit of guidance from afar, and eventually Yahoo! invested in his business.
Fast forward 20 years. Jack Ma’s business is called Alibaba. It’s the 4th biggest e-commerce business in the world and is listed on the New York stock exchange. Today it’s worth $490billion and Jack’s personal fortune is around $50billion, and the only thing left of Yahoo! is it’s investment in Alibaba.
I have shamelessly copied this passage from an email a certain Mr Morris sent to his team some time ago. The message he sent with it was ‘good things happen to those who never stop trying’. Spot on, Mr Morris!
Jess’ Mental Health Update
After writing about mental health awareness a few updates ago I have been reading articles and watching videos to try and figure out the best way I can provide support, whether it's for others around me or myself. During the video below, a young man suffering with depression says, 'The more I talk to people the more I realise, we all have issues and they're all quite similar. So er...yeah, sharing is caring.'
This quote made me think, do we all feel comfortable talking about our problems? If I asked about your mental health would you shy away from answering? It should be more than just a 'How are you today?' and why is it that sometimes you don't feel comfortable saying 'Well actually, today I feel quite rubbish.' Here at Yipiyap we pride ourself in our openness and would urge anyone to talk to us about anything that is troubling them. We can really underestimate the value that other people can have for us and we want you to know that we value each and every one of you.
Christmas Top Tunes
As you may have gleaned, I am VERY excited about Christmas and as it is almost 1st December and officially Christmas time I thought I would ambush the TT10 (apologies Sally and Gaurav, you are up next week!) and do a little Christmas special to get everyone in the spirit!!! A mix of some classics and some newbies! Hopefully something for all!
Have a great week ahead all!