Keep your tutor sweet

4th February 2005 at 00:00
Induction tutors are unsung heroes. They do so much for so little that you may want to use your half-termly review of progress to give them a hug or other token of appreciation.

Induction tutors, according to the Department for Education and Skills, need to "be fully aware of the induction rules and procedures and to have the necessary skills, expertise and knowledge" to:

* Make sure that you and others understand everything about induction

* Discuss your career entry and development profile and help you set objectives throughout the year

* Organise an individualised induction programme of monitoring, support and assessment with you

* Co-ordinate observations of your teaching and the follow-up discussions

* Review your progress every half-term and write an assessment report every term.

Many new teachers say great things about their induction tutor, ranging from "they're always available for advice", "give me a regular meeting time even though they're busy", "are genuinely interested in how I'm doing", to "they have lots of practical suggestions". More than anything, newly qualified teachers value someone who gives them time. This is a very precious resource in schools.

Induction tutors often have many other time-consuming roles and their time spent on induction is rarely funded. If induction tutors don't do their job properly it can scupper your chances of success. Unfortunately, it is you who risks never being able to teach again if you fail induction. Be proactive in trying to resolve problems. Many don't have time to do the job, some don't know what to do, and a few are unsuitable.

The balance between support, monitoring and assessment is a fine one and some induction tutors overdo the policing role. Your headteacher is responsible for induction as a whole so raise issues. Be clear about what support you want and show your induction tutor that you are grateful for any advice, any praise - a thank you goes a long way!

Sara Bubb's The Insider's Guide for New Teachers is published by TESKogan Page, pound;12.99. See www.tes.co.ukbookshop

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