Last Tuesday, Sarah and I attended The Tutors’ Association’s third annual conference.
As last year, it was held at The Barbican Centre – such a fun space for people to gather and be inspired – and as last year, there was a huge range of speakers for us to listen to.
Jill Hodges of Firetech kicked off proceedings talking about technology and how tutors can be prepared for the future, both in understanding the tech that young people are using, and also incorporating tech into the way we teach.
Dr Adam Boddison followed her with a jam-packed presentation on the state of SEND provision that left Sarah more fired up than ever about how SEND children are not supported enough. And I attended a seminar where John Nichols, a Teach First graduate and tutor, talked about how understanding how the brain works can make us better tutors – and presented us with his new website (I haven’t used it but its approach seemed to make a lot of sense, hence giving it a cheeky plug on here).
However, the highlight of the day was listening to our own Dan Licence on the panel of Mental Health experts. Dan handled questions such as social media and how exercise can help mental health. Alongside him was a positive psychologist, a parenting expert, a teacher and tutor, and an Outward Bound manager. I could have listened to each one of them do their own hour-long presentation. I felt there was so much knowledge and experience they could impart. Mental health has always been one of Osborne Cawkwell’s focuses, and since Dan joined us almost three years ago, we have been able to truly promote awareness and knowledge amongst our tutors. It was really exciting that Dan could be on this panel.
The day was engaging and motivating. I also had a chance to catch up with old connections from the tutoring world, as well as make some new ones. And spending time in the Barbican’s conservatory eating lunch with the sun beaming down was huge fun. A big thank you to everyone who was involved in organising the day; I am already looking forward to next year’s event.