Monthly Archives: November 2005

I really am making a start now. These are my reflections on the last few weeks of teaching. Just to give a bit of background, I am a senior lecturer at the University centre Oldham with responsibility as course tutor on the In-service PGCE/Cert.Ed course. I look after 2 year groups, comprising 60+ trainee teachers in all. I also act as work based co-ordinator and Developing Personal Skills Tutor for the preservice PGCE/Cert.Ed, which has 15 trainees currently registered.My own experience of teacher training stems from a dip in the water in 2000, when I started to teach on the City and Guilds 7307. I was also a key skills co-ordinator, and taught on many programmes across college. Over the many years that I have been involved as a teacher and trainer I have experienced most levels of ability up to level 4, and had the “pleasure” to work with a vast range of students, from young people to the borderline retired. I have also managed short courses, privately and as a teacher, and been an active contributor to stadd development events. My big passion is Information Learning Technology, and one of my roles was to act as a champion of new and emerging learning technology. This gave me the spark that resulted in me registering for the MSc in Multimedia and Education, which I am thrilled to have completed successfully this year.So enough of that, what about the past few weeks? I think I will limit these reflections to the year 1 group, as they are more likely to be reading this (gulp). They are an elite bunch of professionals on a mission, and I know that because I hand picked them. Every one is a professional in their own subject area, and I feel overawed every week by the degree of talent and expertise in the room. Of course I intend to exploit it all to our advantage. I am particularly pleased with the way that they have gelled as a group, in the short time that they meet together, and I put this down to my emphasis on group work, possibly at the expense of “content”. I have all fingers and toes crossed that the content will take care of itself, and that they will read around the topics. only time will tell, and in my experience there is a tendency towards instrumentalism in groups like this (Tell me what I need to pass the assignment). However I have already sparked some brilliant reflections on the topic of learning styles, and the homework submitted so far is giving me a lot of confidence that they are reading. I am also pleased with my master plan to incorporate study skills into the course, by extending the class into the afternoon. Last year this proved to be a master stroke in terms of raising the confidence levels of the trainees who may not have studied at this level previously, and I have no reason not to expect the same results this year. I have researched the literature around retention and achievement of learners, particularly in FE, so my strategy to ensure a positive first experience of assessment (early success) is well founded.On the downside I think my timings are as appalling as ever. I prepare far too much, and this is not good for the sustainabilty of the forests, never mind the pain of having to lug the handouts back to the staffroom after the lessons. I must try harder – no lets be smart about this – I intend to plan in a more systematic way, and intend that next week’s lesson will be timed to perfection. (Watch this space).