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Your role as a Personal Tutor

International Travel; it's not for Administrators?

ian munton

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of Your role as a Personal Tutor

Plan for the Session Revelations for me…
Being a Personal Tutor to Postgraduate Research Students Ian Munton, The Student Services Department What is a Personal Tutor? The Role of a Personal Tutor Tutor Vs Mentor - know your role Student Support Issues The PGT Student - who are they? Boundaries Confidentiality Support & referrals Student Scenarios Time to reflect
An experienced and trusted adviser

An experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students

Mentoring involves primarily listening with empathy, sharing experience (usually mutually), professional friendship, developing insight through reflection, being a sounding board, encouraging" - David Clutterbuck

From the Greek Mentor, the name of the adviser of the young Telemachus in Homer’s Odyssey
What is a Mentor? Pastoral care


Academic Development?
“A holistic approach by which the [university] attempts to meet the personal, social, emotional and intellectual; needs of every student, in order that each might participate fully and gain maximum benefit from everything the [University] has to offer”
Pastoral Support Students are not your patients nor your parishoners
Data Protection Act does not prevent us sharing information appropriately within the University.
Counsellors are bound by professional code of ethics.
UCS will not say if a person has been to counselling or not without their permission.
Some requirements to pass on/share information:
Fitness to practice issues
Harm to self/others/
Disability issues
Child protection
Confidentiality Setting a contract
Times to see (quite clear within this role)
What is too much
When can I say no
Setting Expectations Early Academic related - Plagiarism
Confidence and self esteem.
Loneliness and home sickness.
Eating problems.
Self image.
Anxiety and stress issues.
Relationship problems.
Managing finances.
Time management
Student Issues Talk to the student to find out more about their current situation.

You may find that the student is already in contact with appropriate services such as Student Support and Guidance, their GP or a counsellor.

Showing your concern may help reassure the student and allay your own worries

You may also wish to speak to others who know the student to see if they also have concerns about their well being.

In the majority of cases pointing the student towards appropriate sources of help may be all that is needed.
If you are worried about a student In such situations there is little you can do other than ensure that the student has the relevant information about sources of help.

If records are kept, note your concerns in the relevant files [1] and inform senior staff so that others are aware of the situation.

[1] Remember that under the Data Protection Act the student may be allowed to see these notes.
When a Student will not accept help Induction Providing support through transition
How early should we meet/make contact?
Needs tend to be highest upon arrival
Creating a 'mental map' of the University Academic Development? Tutors should help students to reflect on their skills and experience - within and outside of their research

Direct to other sources of academic guidance Be clear what you can and cannot offer

Consider what you can do within your role to reduce the student’s distress

Help the student to find other sources of support

Look after yourself: know your limitations
Knowing what you can offer...
Critical Support Team
UHS – duty doctor
duty counsellor
staff counsellor
Your line manager / colleagues/Supervisor
Support for Staff Tutors should be aware of the expectations and limitations of their role

You are NOT expected to “do it all” but you ARE expected to know where and who to refer to.

You are NOT counsellors, social workers, financial advisers or academic tutors.
What am I not? Develop a strong relationship with your students.
Keep track of your students progress.
Encourage your students to achieve their goals.
Share experience and expertise.
Refer your students to appropriate services.
As a Personal Tutor you should... 1. Euphoria, enthusiasm, honeymoon phase, ‘in love’

2. Hostile, frustrated, annoyed, feeling isolated, idealising home, hate

3. Acceptance, reality, equilibrium, independence, confidence

4. Reverse culture shock, no longer ‘at home’ at home
Culture Shock Student Transitions •Academic Cycle
•Learning to Learn
•Psychological, Developmental
•Sense of Belonging
Critical incident support staff have helped in difficult situations including:

Students causing concern
non-elective hospitalisation of students
death and bereavement affecting students
national/international disasters
students who are victims of crime
Students unable to cope with aspects of university life
Critical Support What might I experience? A Personal Tutor is normally a member of the academic staff who provides pastoral care with regard to student welfare, and may provide support and guidance for a student's personal development planning.

A Personal Tutor should be the first point of call for students to discuss issues affecting their well-being and/or progress at University. A Personal Tutor should also act as a referral point to University, Students' Union and other professional support services
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