So, how did your first week go?? Alarm clocks, nerves, excitement, NEW STATIONERY, being called ‘Sir/ Miss’, surviving the staffroom…. I am sure you have had it all this week!!
Well, I really hope that you all managed to roll your sleeves up and show some of that Can Do Attitude and have really relished the challenge having overcome the initial shock of getting your brains into gear again after a summer of nothing!! Do not worry, you will all soon be in the swing of things, if you’re not already!
It’s a long update this week but I do hope you enjoy reading about our Wall of Happy, details about the next regional social event, Emily WJ’s and Alex’s TT20, our caption contest winner as well as taking a seat in Pedagogy Corner for a bit of professional development! Enjoy!!
News - what’s been going on this week?
I love this time of year at Yipiyap. After getting to know you all at Induction, it’s all about the buzz of the first few weeks while you settle into your schools. The office literally heaves with all of the Regional Directors’ news from schools, the feedback from the YipiyApp and the various communications we have from you all. Every year brings new journeys, adventures and challenges but what never, ever changes is that we are all here to support you through all of this. Never think there is any question too small or worry too insignificant. I will leave it to the RDs to pass on their own individual highlights in our Wall of Happy section but from me a huge ‘well done’ for the great way you have all started your journey with us!
I cannot believe we’re just 5 days into our Yipiyap year! Thanks to all of you for making what I can see is a great start in school but I just want to give a shout out for those who haven’t started yet..it‘s not easy to wait but we really appreciate your patience and co-operation during this time. Don’t worry, once you’ve started it will feel like you’ve been going forever (as I’m sure anyone who has just finished their first full week will testify!
Wall of Happy
Welcome to the weekly update everyone! I love having an opportunity each week to tell you all about the brilliant work my team have been doing. The response from staff has been overwhelmingly positive this week (although, that’s to be expected when the team are all so talented!). I was especially delighted when Laura at St Antony’s wrote to me on two separate occasions to say how impressed she was with Ajai, Ciara and Rebecca so far. I also had the pleasure of looking over a PowerPoint that Aimee and Ihsaan had put together after being asked to present to the school about Yipiyap. I was really impressed with what they’d put together and wanted to give them a special shout out for having the confidence to speak publicly!
Finally, from me and the team, a big ‘Happy Birthday’ to Aimee for today!! Hope you have had a great day and enjoy your celebrations!
First up is a massive congratulations to the whole team, both for how they engaged with the induction days and for the start that everyone has made in schools. Positive feedback is flowing from all schools which I’m delighted about! I’m also going to give a few individual shout-outs as well.
Firstly to Stephen who was very accommodating when I had to make a last minute change to his placement – he was supportive of the reasoning and despite having practised his journey to the school he’d initially been allocated he showed a true Yipiyap ‘can-do attitude’ and got on with things with a really positive attitude. Great stuff Stephen!
A second shout out goes to Olivia who is well and truly integrating herself into life at Ysgol Treffynnon and is already supporting students with lunchtime revision sessions. Fantastic Olivia!
Final shout out this week goes to Jennifer who was written a superb blog post about our induction days – you can see it now in Tutor stories on the Yipiyap website. Thanks Jennifer!
I just want to start off by saying it’s so wonderful to have such an incredible team. The responses from you all have been great and the feedback from the staff have been wonderful.
I want to give a shout out to Anna and Sarah who have proven to work wonderfully as a team. When an issue with a student arrived they dealt with it smoothly and followed all the correct procedures. Their proactivity is exactly what we expect from the perfect tutors.This is just a small snippet from the wonderful things I have heard from my team - you’re all really out doing yourselves! Keep it up Team D.S.N!
All of my tutors have made fab first impressions at school this week and I am so proud of all of you!! My highlight of the week has got to be from Nathan! He was a bit nervous going into his first day but took along a packet of biscuits into the staffroom and the rest, as they say, is history! He had a great time and said everyone was really welcoming. So, when it came to Abbie’s first day at the same school, he was quick to offer his support and advice and reassured her about how nice everyone was and wished her as good a time as he had. Brilliant stuff Nathan!!
It’s been a really strange first week being on the other side of things this year, but really brilliant too! All of your schools have all said how well you are all doing so far and that is just so positive. A massive ‘thank you’ to all of my tutors who made sure they were in school early this week. Also, a shout out to Alex! Alex is working for a school but at two different locations across the week and I would just like to thank him as he has just cracked on with the task he has been given and not even questioned the arrangement. Well done Alex!
Remember you must not have your phone out in class or use it during lessons except in case of genuine emergency. Set a good example to the children and keep it out of the way.
If you do catch sight of your RD ringing you when you’re in a lesson, it will not be an emergency and they will not expect you to pick up - they know you’re in class so they’ll leave a message and it’s fine to ring back at break/lunch. In the very unusual case of an emergency they will call in to reception and ask for you.
Tutor Enrichment Events
Following on from the amazing gospel singing icebreaker at our Induction Course we are now looking forward to the next tutor social event which will be a bowling evening that will be held regionally on Thursday 17th October. It’s an evening event so you will all hopefully have enough time to get home after school and have some tea before heading off to meet your teams.
We will be posting details of all of the regional venues in the Update shortly. We hope that you will all be able to attend. It’s a great night!
Formal School Feedback
Now that the first week is over, we want to share with you our feedback process so please find below the feedback form that we will be asking schools to complete for all tutors towards the end of this month. You will see that it's very basic but we want you to know the areas you will be assessed on so you can keep these in mind.
The assessments are nothing to worry about and, as with everything we do, are just a way for us to find out if you need support with anything so we can help you. If you work in more than one school then we will ask all schools to complete this feedback.
You will see in your planners that there is space for reflection each day and at the end of each week. This is good practice for everyone but was included specifically with applicants for Medicine and Dentistry in mind. Our contacts at The Christie have highlighted the importance of keeping a reflective diary that you can refer to at interview so we strongly advise that you make this reflection part of your daily routine so you can talk credibly about it when the time comes.
Yipiyap Lapel Pins
If you are anything like me you will have already put your Yipiyap lapel pin through the washer already. Beware (from experience!), it can really scupper your mum’s washer so just make sure you take it off your shirt/ top each evening and wear your pin with pride whenever you’re in school!
Welcome to Pedagogy corner – a cosy little part of the Yipiyap universe dedicated to all things ‘Teaching and Learning’. Each week there will be a short post focusing on a key theme with strategies and ideas that will support the work you will be doing with students to promote learning. It all forms part of your continuous training and development so important for you to read and understand.
For the first few weeks the focus will be on questioning, which is one of the most important skills for you to develop.
Here are a few tips for you to consider;
When you ask a question is it a closed question (likely to have single short factual answer) or an open-ended question (many possible answers which could be descriptive)
e.g. Maths – Closed question – What is the area of a rectangle that is 6cm long and 4cm wide vs Open question – A shape has an area of 24cm2, what could its dimensions be?
e.g. English – Closed question – Who are the main characters in Of Mice and men vs Open question – Describe the main characters in Of Mice and Men.
Remember that you are a detective so use follow up questions to test understanding and to seek out misconceptions – Why? How do you know? Where is the evidence for that? How did you arrive at that answer? What would happen if we changed (insert whatever you are going to change)?
Be prepared to wait – silence feels slightly odd but give students thinking time and then go back to being a detective – what clues do students have, what is a starting place, how can we develop an idea from there?
We’d love to hear about your successes using different types of questioning and if you want to read some more about good questioning follow this link;
Emily and Alex’s Top 20 Tunes
It’s a big thanks to our amazing North Wales and Cheshire tutors Emily and Alex for providing us all with a great start to our Tutors’ Top Tunes! I have really enjoyed listening to these and I am sure everyone else will too. It’s Emily’s 10 first then Alex’s!
Yipiyap Caption Contest
Well, it was a hotly contested caption competition with some cracking entries which we all really loved at HQ. It came down to the last 5 and really took some tough deliberation to decide on a winner.
The 5 top captions were:
“Toy Story - whenever Andy enters his room” - Nathan Pereira
“YipiNap” - Nathan Pereira
“Time for a YipiNap!” - Gaby Walker
“When you make it to McDonalds just in time for breakfast” - Jade Leavens
“When you’ve spent five hours editing your avatar and you need a lie down!” - Brooke Marsden
We loved them all but there has to be a winner and that accolade went to Nathan for ‘Toy Story- whenever Andy enters his room’ because 1. it is an absolutely inspired caption and 2. it is Anne and the Morris clan’s favourite film!!
Thanks to you all for your brilliant entries and really well done Nathan! Your prize will wing its way to you shortly!
Other than that, make sure you have a restful weekend ready to go on Monday and have a brilliant first week in school!!! Remember we are here if you need anything!
Finally, we often finish the update with something thought provoking for you to consider. Here we go for this week...
The Challenge of Living Gratefully
I recently read a brilliant article about the benefits of living gratefully. It is something I have never really thought about but, on reading it, it really made me think. The author of the article had been at a New Year’s Eve Party and had spoken to another woman who was really underwhelmed about the prospect of the year ahead. The author pointed out to the woman that starting the year with that attitude virtually guaranteed her a bad year. Generally, if you take a negative approach, bad stuff is all you’ll find. So, after this encounter the author decided to challenge herself to be more grateful for what she had, trying to appreciate all the good things in her life both personally and professionally for 1 year and to see what, if any effect this had.
Many researchers connect gratitude to higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression. In one study, gratitude had the highest link to wellbeing of any personality trait. Grateful people don’t start with better experiences in life but they learn how to re-frame whatever happens to look for the positive. If you wait for events to make you happy, you could be waiting a long time but if you change your perspective you can find good in whatever occurs.
It’s interesting to think that most of us are more likely to say ‘thank you’ to a Barista in a coffee shop than to our parents, siblings and friends. We have so many expectations of our nearest and dearest that they become almost impossible to achieve, whereas all the Barista has to do is make you a coffee you have paid for!
So, what did the author do/ achieve? She started by just saying ‘thank you’ to her husband for even what seemed trivial things like repairing a leak, paying the bills and driving on a long journey. This became infectious and soon her husband was thanking her for supper and getting the children to bed, and other things that beforehand they each just took for granted. She started to keep a gratitude journal and would every night write down one thing that made her grateful that day. When she had a bad day, she would reflect on the positives to remind herself of all the good in her life. She would also try and think of gratitude early in the day and she found that this really put her in a positive mindset for what was to come.
This also continued for her at work. Saying thanks to colleagues made work a happier place to be. When you are positive, people like to be around you and will help you succeed.
I think the message this article sends is just how by just by appreciating what we have and being grateful you can really improve your health, happiness and relationships with others. Personally, I think it makes great sense and am really trying to up my gratitude levels!! I challenge you all to a year of gratefulness too (you’ve got your planners to make your notes!) and see what it does for you.
So, THANKS AGAIN for a brilliant week and have a great weekend!