Form Tutor's Pocketbook By Roy Watson-Davis Teachers' Pocketbooks pound;6.99 www.pocketbook.co.ukteachers
In most secondary schools just about every teacher is a form tutor as well as being a member of a departmental teaching team. The trouble is that many teachers, as Roy Watson-Davis suggests in Form Tutor's Pocketbook, see the tutor role as, "a necessary evil that gets in the way of their 'real' task - to deliver a subject".
Watson-Davis, an experienced senior teacher and form tutor, fully acknowledges that this is changing. As schools have focused more and more on the core business of teaching and learning, form tutors have become academic mentors: key players able to see the full spectrum of their pupils' progress, and to advise them on their overall progress towards a range of targets. So his book has a key chapter on target setting, with good advice about making targets achievable: "Remember my day book every day this term."
There are chapters, too, on necessary administration (including registers and attendance), dealing with difficult parents, and how to approach social and pastoral development. Inevitably, there are ideas for the tutor period:
"using music", "current affairs time" and so on.
This is a good, concise introduction to a little-recognised but ubiquitous secondary school role.