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Monday, 28 May 2012 10:17

The low-down on stooging

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Jordan du Toit: To the average Rhodent, stooging may sound like a long-lost British art form, but it is in fact a promising opportunity for a student seeking work experience in Grahamstown with full board and lodging included. The talk hosted by the Careers Centre on 24 May offered students valuable insight.

Stooging involves a university student staying at one of the local boarding schools and assisting in the hostel with duties and caring for the boarders.

Julie Mitchell of Victoria Girls’ High School (VG) said that the stooges or student supervisors “are like film stars to the girls”. At all the schools, stooges develop close bonds with the boarders they care for.

Tyron Louw, head stooge at St Andrew’s College with five years’ experience, said, “You can become a lot closer to the students because the age gap is so much smaller. You become the first call for students who have problems and you play an important role within the school.”

He cautions however that “it’s not about being friends; it’s a job you are hired for.”

Bronwyn Peter, a stooge at VG, echoed Louw’s sentiment. “Your purpose is to be a guardian for the girls,” she said.

The responsibilities for a stooge differ per school but often entail duty a few nights a week to supervise prep and bedtime as well as weekend duties. Stooges often create activities to keep the boarders entertained over the weekend, too.

Sport is also part of stooging life. At the Diocesan School for Girls (DSG), coaching a sport is compulsory for a stooge, as it is at Graeme College, Kingswood College and St Andrew’s College, too. Coaching is paid for as an extra at VG.

Louw said, “Sport is a big aspect to being a student tutor (stooge) at a boys’ school.”

He went on to caution that the student’s degree must factor into the decision. “Be sensitive to your degree. Understand if you would have afternoons off that stooging requires or if your workload will be too heavy to allow for that added time,” he said.

For students interested in teaching or working with teenagers or children in their future, stooging is a clear advantage.

Students interested can download the application form from the Careers Centre website. Applications are due in the third term (August or September). The schools prefer stooges to be 21 or over, but some are open to negotiation. The contact details for the schools are also available on the Careers Centre page.

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