One very critical contributor to effective learning and teaching is class tutor. I prefer using "class tutor" as against the very common "Class Teacher". Although both are mandated with classroom management, there exists a narrow but significant difference.
The former goes beyond just ensuring cleanliness of the classroom environment and attendance of class members. In addition to the already mentioned a class tutor does the following:
Manage general academic performance of every student. The tutor has to monitor progress for Continuous Assessment (CA) for every kid and make note of the deviations from the target. A simple clue will be to develop a Performance Tracking tool for all subjects registered by class members and record monthly assessments. Produce a hard copy monthly and attach great value to it.
Build a working relationship with all subject teachers for your class. In as much as it is of great importance to have a solid relationship with all teachers for easy consultations, class subject teachers are of paramount importance. Needless to say that they deliver curricular to your class, they also serve as the reference point for progress in CA in specified subject areas. The expertise gives light to better strategies to improve performance in their various fields. A simple clue will be to ask these two questions whenever you meet with any of them.
How are my students performing? This question serves two purposes. The first being that a class tutor acknowledges the subject superiority of the subject teacher.
The other of cause being literally to know whether or not there is progress in quantity terms.
In your opinion, how best can we improve results in your subject? The significance of this question is to give the subject teacher room for innovation on how best they can deliver. The question serves as encouragement, motivation and brings with it an element of ownership.
Building a working relationship with parents/guardians of your class members. Great value and importance must be put to this relationship else we run the risk of not getting full attention of the class members. It is natural that every kid has great respect for the teacher- guardians’ partnership.
This is somehow psychological to a student and serves as a push to great limits. Simple clue will be to convene with guardians as early as the beginning of the first term of the very entries to the new school. This can be through one-on-one or by phone.Invitation of professionals as a grand source of inspiration. I personally regard this as the most single appealing approach to lasting inspiration.
When the students get to see the “real deal”, their vision turn to crystallise and certainly a clear path emanates. This includes the immediate graduates (BGCSE or IGCSE) from the same school preferably who had a success for themselves. It becomes easier for your students to relate to their success stories.
Develop a vision for your kids. This is the most important duty of a
A positive mindset is open to various initiatives geared towards greater improvements. A positive mindset breeds hardworking without supervision, sacrificing other priorities for academics and investing resources for better learning.
A well orchestrated vision begets a positive mindset. The vision on its own will have students working hard with very minimal supervision. Their conviction thereof will be incredible. If need be, students will go to an extent of seeking private subject tutor to complement comprehension. This is how powerful a well understood Vision Can Be. A simple example of a class vision would look like this:
“Towards academic excellence”. By botswana examination council standards
Make them understand and appreciate the following points
l that BEC rewards academic luminaries.
l that Botswana Education Hub rewards anyone with 4-6 A*s.
lthat individual companies, parastatals and various embassies give scholarships as part of their Social Responsibility Programmes.
lthat certain courses at tertiary institutions are high in demand so much that enrolling students are treated with speciality by the government.
NOTE: This type of vision would resonate very well with a high performing class
For an Average Performing Class, you might want to give the following as vision
“Towards 100% transition “to tertiary institutions”.
Make them understand and appreciate the following points
l that 36 or more graded points will get you a place at tertiary institution.
l that hard work is the sole key to obtaining 36 or more points.
l that Botho (discipline) is cardinal to securing better future.
NOTE: It is not enough to just produce nicely written visions and printing hard copies for them, one need to literally preach them. A vision must become Gospel for the duration of that class at school. Have many other people explain the visions to your class at different times during the course of two years.
A class tutor also needs to pay attention to different talents of class members. He/she must find strategies to nurture and develop such talents.
In conclusion, we need to appreciate the role of class tutor as key in the development of a well rounded young citizen. My opinion is that, a class tutor is like a local municipality (local government).
They are in contact with clients on a daily basis. They are better placed to cascade strategies from the school Senior Management Team to the classroom level.
l weep with your kids when they are weeping
l when they laugh, laugh with them
l share with them the joy and sorrow
l until we make this journey through
*Ignatious Njobvu, is a Senior Teacher (Staff Development) at Maun Senior Secondary School. He is responsible for Performance Improvement Initiatives. He is also a Mathematics teacher