I hope you are doing well.
I'll keep this bit short and sweet. Put simply, my hope with these blog posts is to allow undergraduate hopefuls like yourself to gain a better understanding of every aspect of the social work course. In this post, I'll give you the low-down on what exactly a social work tutor is, what they can do for you and how to get the most out of them.
Due to the demands and complexities within the social work course, students are assigned a tutor, who is also a lecturer on the course. Tutors are introduced during the University's welcome week and will often have multiple students at any one given time.
During the first year they may assist you with integrating into the University of Bath community and lifestyle; help with any initial transition difficulties and; complete regular welfare check-ins. During the second year, tutors may become more involved due to the increasing demands placed on students throughout their first placement. At these times, they will assist with any difficulties that may arise and observe your progress within the practice placement.
Through all 3 years, they will be a first port-of-call if you need any additional support, often acting as a triage to the other University of Bath services.
Now for the bit of the blogs that I love, all my hints, tips, tricks and knowledge. For this section, I'll be letting you in on how to get the most out of your social work tutor. From my personal experience, these points have really helped me benefit as much as possible from my tutor.
- I have found that it is key to establish early on, what the best method of communication is for both parties and to facilitate backup options in case they cannot be contacted. It is silly to think how many people have easily assumed that a tutor is most easily accessible via email when in fact that might be the most difficult form of communication for them and they may reply much quicker via text, phone call, or arranging a meeting online or face-to-face.
- Once you've worked out how to contact each other, arrange regular meetings with your tutor to check-in. This will not only help you if you are struggling but repair any gaps in your learning. Regular meetings can allow tutors to obverse your progress throughout the course and ensure that they are best supporting you at all times. When you have these meetings, having a log of everything that is discussed will help to make sure that you are using this time wisely and getting the most out of this additional support. It will also provide something to reflect on (a skill crucial for all social work practice).
- Before you meet your tutor for the first time, it might be helpful to research their specialism and try to understand it. It may prove useful when studying that particular topic and they may have an insight that you might not have otherwise thought about. This will allow for more depth in your interactions and ensure that you are both gaining from each other's knowledge and experience.
- And finally, make sure that your interactions do not just focus on your studies. Your social work tutor is there to help and support you. They often act as the first port of call for other services and so can help get you additional support from the University if needed. In social work, it is key to note that the personal is political. In other words, it would be foolish to think that any problems you may be having outside of your studies will not affect them. Lean on your tutor, it is what they are there for.
Hopefully, this has given you a deeper insight into the world of social work tutors.
Until next time, stay safe and keep smiling,