I haven't blogged for ages. Not through laziness or lack of time but because really I haven't had a lot to blog about.
Many of you know that I am ill and have had nearly a year off work in all forms and took the biggest decision of my life - not to go back into the classroom. I can't, it's too much for me physically and mentally right now. The doctor reckons this could be a long term thing so I have to get used to it.
Luckily I caught a break and was approached to be a 1-1 tutor. It has pros and cons. I contract so I have to sort my own tax (a small pain), no holiday pay, quite a bit of driving. That said I work with kids in their own homes or in libraries, I'm learning to teach new things (English anyone) as well as reinforcing my Science teaching with some Triple Science tutoring and I can build relationships with kids - some of which don't meet new people very often if they are home schooled for whatever reason. I'm enjoying it and I'm enjoying the control I have over my hours.
So it crossed my mind a while ago to write a Tutoring Toolkit post...what's in my 'Portable Classroom' (aka my car) I hear you wonder...my neighbours certainly wonder when they see me wandering past with differing numbers of bags and books each day!
So here it is...in no particular order...prepare to be amazed lol
Pencil cases stocked - pens, pencils, rubber, ruler, pencil sharpener - standard
Maths kit - when teaching Maths one needs access to compasses and protractor
Scientific calculator - as above (helps if you know how to use it though...cue much hilarity when you get crazy fractions and can't find the button to convert to decimals!)
Dictionary and Thesaurus - have a variety of uses when tutoring English and doing creative writing especially. I am starting to hate the words 'nice' and 'said' lol
Lots of paper - lined, squared, plain....you need it. Failing that exercise books of each
Post it notes - marking pages, writing notes to self on what to plan for next week.
Record cards - making revision cards
USB sticks - for storing resources/kids work
Library card - for the WiFi....and the books ;)
ID - some of the kids I work with have emotional and social issues so it helps the staff at the libraries to see who I am and that I work for the LEA
Tissues - useful in many a crisis
Hand sanitiser - many kids have pets. Dogs like to slobber....nuff said
Deodorant and/or Body spray - lots of parents (and kids) smoke in their houses
Work phone - so work can contact me, so parents can contact me
Mini whiteboard and pens - many uses - the same as in a classroom
Addresses and phone numbers - helps to know where you're going
Folders for each child - organisation
Highlighters - Picking out key words/phrases, helping with exam questions e.g. command words.
Water - if there's no time to stop, you need to drink in the car
Windows 8 tablet with attachable keyboard and wireless mouse - I have a Linx 10" Windows tablet and it is perfect for what I need as it runs full Windows including full Office, so you don't need to worry about not having access to computers if the library is busy, you have one right there in your bag.
Notepad - noting down what you've done, any key points, what to do next
Diary - keeping track of hours/mileage
Scissors - cut and stick
Glue - see above
Colouring pens and pencils - for Art...or for other tasks that might benefit from a bit of colour
Painkillers - just in case - I take a lot of meds as it is and have to be organised with those but you never know when that headache might strike
Relevant textbooks, revision guides, reading books - depends on the day but I've got a good backlog of bits and pieces now
Snacks - in the car, non messy ones. Sometimes a lunch break is difficult if you have to drive a long distance
Chewing gum - covers many a lunch crime
Glasses - mine
Sunglasses - for the (hopefully) good weather to come
Canvas bags - I have one for each child and one for each subject. I bought some iron on patches to help identify the bags. On my busiest day I have to carry 7 canvas bags and my portable classroom
Sat-Nav - for people like me who have no sense of direction!
Change - you're screwed if you don't have change for the car park
Poly-pocket - keep your receipts in it
Knowledge of nearby places to eat/use the loo/shop - don't get caught short
iPod or similar stocked with tunes and the correct cables - keeps the journeys enjoyable if you've got tunes to sing to on the way
Patience - bags of it and that's just for the traffic!
Sense of humour - one to one is a bit intense sometimes
Phew!! So this is what I carry about every day I'm out on the road....so next time you're in the Asda cafe and you see someone with bags of stuff scribbling in a notepad it might just be me....or someone like me.