So how do you make the role enjoyable and rewarding? The most important part is to plan daily tutor time as if it were a lesson. Don't let students drift about while you catch up on admin; you'll pay a price in missed opportunities. To keep the time with your form group focused, have a weekly timetable. For example, on Mondays they split into teams for a quiz (with an updated league table on the wall); on Tuesdays, homework planners are checked and signed; Wednesdays might be assembly (which your group may take from time to time); Thursdays are for silent reading and students telling the rest of the form about the book they are reading; Fridays are when students nominate a student of the week.
Other ideas are to create a vibrant noticeboard, encourage your group to enter inter-form competitions (start them if your school does not have them), run the odd form trip in the evening, and start a class newsletter (written and edited by students).
And when giving out letters for parents, put the initials of each child who is away at the top of a copy.
Jeremy Rowe is deputy head at Bishops Park college, Essex. Have you any useful tips for new teachers? We pay pound;50 for all tips published. Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org