19/03/2018

Learning Objectives:
1. Investigate and compare the different training pathways available at Post 16. UET 3, 4 & 12
2. Describe and analyse the aims and key qualifications in your own specialist area. UET 3, 4 & 12
3. Analyse the causes and impact of noise on the inclusive learning environment.

Challenge target: Recommend appropriate strategies to deal with disruptive noise in the classroom.

This was to be a short session, as it was parents evening for the lecturers who work at the college, myself included.

Embedding English & Maths
To strengthen and develop the ways in which we embed english and maths into our lessons, each member of the group gave an example within their specialism. To evidence our development and to provide a useful resource, we are to create a ‘Maths Matters’ and ‘English Matters’ toolkit, which we can add to over the course. Based upon lesson plan structures and curriculum guidelines, we are supposed to purposefully embed these topics into each lesson; this is not practical for every lesson, however, if you start to deconstruct each lesson, you may well find that you are already covering these topics without knowing. My examples were as follows:

Maths: During magazine spread designs we investigate percentages and compositional weighting; so measuring and converting areas and spaces is essential.

English: When typography is examined, we look into all the various grammar symbols, we discuss their use and importance within language.

Careers Pathways Advice
To continue from our homework exercise, we were to examine the Lord Sainsbury Post 16 Report, in particular the flowchart on page 15 that illustrates how the academic and technical pathways work. Then in pairs we were asked to discuss and comment upon the following:
1) Identify the key aim and background of the report
2) Analyse the two different pathways and place your qualification accordingly

1) Hailed as the “the most significant transformation of post-16 education since A levels were introduced some 70 years ago”; the reports primary aim was to simplify the current technical pathways, by providing 15 clear different routes, in which the standards were drawn up, under advisement from industry employers. It allows students, upon completion of their GCSE’s to choose either an academic or technical pathway; an important element of this, is that each program will strengthen the common core of English, Maths and Digital Skills. The partnership between academic and technical has been developed; where for years, studetns would attend college on a day release program and typically only attain a Level 3 qualification. Now there is to be focus on bridging the higher-level skills gaps, where studetns can take their academic training up to Level 6, thus completing a degree apprenticeship.

2) The report states that there are 15 new technical pathways, in which there is emphasis on specific sectors that will bolster the economy; these include careers, such as Engineering & Manufacturing, Construction, Business and Administrative. Now whilst the arts are listed, the example job roles are quite technical based. With some creative arts disciplines, an academic route, will yield a better understanding into visual language and communication; however, obtaining a BA (Hons) in a visual arts subject, will not always guarantee a job. Examining my disciplines, I would place them on an academic pathway; 2.3, ‘The diagram does not show every possible way in which an individual might move through the system…’, this is true within the arts, as there are other non-accredited routes in education and training. For example, a photography student may pursue an assisting route with an established photographer, where they may acquire key skills, in both the technical and administrative side of being a self-employed creative. 

Apprenticeship Woes
During our discussion, I raised the topic of recent business closures; in our current economic climate, established companies can not provide the security that they once could. A recent case study, would be Carillion, where on the 15th of January 2018, they announced their immediate liquidation; this has had a devastating effect, not just for all the primary employees, but for all of the paid apprentices. Other companies/organisations, such as CITB have managed to take on a number of ex-Carillion apprentices; yet still, there are many still currently out of work. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-42867722

To conclude, there is only certainty in the uncertain; no matter what education and/or training pathway is pursued and at what level, there are no guarantees of employment.

Parents Evening
My schedule was light, having already spoken to two learners parents over the phone, I was only expecting one more; however, I did provide support and guidance to two other parents from another tutors group. Firstly, my personal view on parents evening, specifically for final year learners, where there is an optional booking system, is that it is a pointless exercise. The parents that do attend, are only interested in you confirming how good their child is, which they already know; then for the learners, that would benefit from additional parental reinforcement, their parents are not interested in attending. Coupled with the fact, that final year learners have already secured their chosen pathway.

Now putting my views aside; this event can provide an ideal opportunity to discuss with the parents the possible pathways and options for their child. I have noticed that a deciding factor, when choosing pathways, is finances; any UK based student, wishing to attend university, will have to take a base, £27k loan to pay for the tuition fees. Now whilst the interest is low and repayments are based upon earnings, this is still a huge financial commitment. The key is with the language, it should be referred to as a ‘debt’, it is an ‘investment’; this initial outlay, coupled with a willingness to learn and develop could potentially lead to a rewarding and prosperous career path.

One of the parents I spoke to over the phone, was interested in their child’s development; thay had noticed how more engaged and positive they were with their studies and wanted to discuss their progress further. I reassured them, that their child was developing well and that their predicted grade is a merit, they were pleased with this and thanked me for my influence and guidance.

The parents from the other tutor group that I did speak to, the primary topic of conversation was their child’s current project work; it seems that some learners do not reveal their work to their parents. A point of concern was raised, where the current L3 Y2 learners experienced a shaky start to staffing disruptions; I assured them, that this was a ‘blip’ and that their child’s teaching will be consistent with the current pool of lecturers.

Homework:
• Prepare for a Careers Advice event (UET12) next week on a rota.

• Plan a demonstration of a resource to support learning for 16th April (UET15, UET12)

12/03/2018

Learning Objectives:
1. Define and analyse the aims of teaching and learning in a specialist area, compared to general education and teaching.
2. Recommend 2 interventions for improving classroom management.
3. Renew own targets.

We started with our homework/flipped learning task, which was to define ‘Philosophy’ and then to answer the following two questions:
How does philosophy relate to general education?
How does philosophy relate to teaching in your specialist area?

I will be honest by saying that I forgot to complete this task; however during this starter/flipped period I wrote the following:

Philosophy
It’s etymological breakdown, informs us that we are to ‘love Knowledge’, we seek to acquire wisdom and better our understanding of our environment. It encompasses, core values, ideas, systems of beliefs, it challenges and develops a questioning nature. McGraw comments about the two concepts where the term ‘education’ derives from:
‘Educare’ – to draw out and realise potential.
‘Educere’ – to bring up and nurture.

These two concepts should not be approached singularly, they are entwined and are holistic in their application and understanding. To draw out and realise a learners’ potential, is to perform assessment of prior learning. The examination and measurement of their overall experience, will aid in developing curricular and direction of learning.

This was concluded by the group, that defining philosophy and its place within education is quite difficult, this is due to its broad interpretation. However, its impact is to be viewed holistically, where its etymological origins are at the heart of learning. To learn and acquire knowledge and to be aware of this personal growth is what guides you; being an educator, out overall philosophical outlook is to nurture and develop.

Behaviour Management
To continue with our investigation into behaviour management, we watched the following video:

Then we paired up and discussed the following questions:
1. Description, assess what is happening?
2. Identify the possible causes.
3. What is the impact on learning?
4. Your strategy.

It was clear to the group what the overall problems and causes were; in a group we continued to discuss what out strategies would be to combat or neutralise this behaviour before it even happens, we came up with the following:

• Ensure the classroom environment is safe and structured before class.
• Meet and greet them and the door, which builds upon Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
• Have a clear starter planned and set it on time to enforce time management.
• If any negative behaviour does occur, then approach/call the disruptive learner/s directly by name.
• Set clear rewards and consequences for behaviour.

Here are some additional strategies provided by our tutor:

• Tactical ignoring, choose your battles.
• Assume compliance, who is he boss?
• Avoid giving direct orders, think carefully about your words.
• Avoiding threats, what not to say.
• Negotiating rules, or approaching them from a different perspective.
• Demonstrating the behaviour you would like to see; Modelling.

It was asked and agreed upon by the class, that the final hour of each session be set as an open hour to conduct work, catch up and engage in tutorials. A good example of embedding Fundamental British Values, such as democracy into the class, whilst perhaps giving the class a sense of choice. During this first open hour, we all engaged in our own little tasks, typing up notes etc. I managed to get the theoretical component of UET3&4 signed off; getting closer to fast-tracking the course on time, whilst still ensuring that the quality and understanding of the work is not sacrificed. I also received some constructive feedback on how to tweak my SOW to ensure there is more awareness of the various embedded components such as employability, functional skills etc. I have taken these on board and will aim to implement them for next terms SOW.

Homework:
• UET12 – Research structure/types of key qualifications in your specialist area.
• Structure a ‘Careers Event’ presentation, where you describe the available qualifications in your specialist area:
1. Overview of the qualifications in your specialist area.
2. A description of typical Teaching, Learning & Assessment strategies in your area.
3. Types of support available.

As an extra piece of work, I am to write my proposal for UV51238 – Action Research.

05/03/2018

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify and analyse common characteristics of stereotyping to develop learners’ behaviour and welfare.
2. Recommend appropriate Assessment and Quality Assurance practice. (Assessment Guide)
3. Recommend 2 possible intervention strategies for challenging learner behaviour.

Challenge Target: Recommend strategies to challenge discrimination in your own area to promote learner well being and development.

Tonight’s session continued from our investigation into the principles and practices of assessment strategies; we begun by recapping the 6 principles of assessment and providing examples of each. Some key points were reiterated again, which enforced their importance within assessment strategies; one in particular stood out and that was about record keeping and the need to keep documents for three years.

The session progressed to examine and discuss ‘Challenging Stereotypes’; I found this engaging and current, as the project I have set my learners is investigating the 9 protected characteristics of the 2010 Equality Act and forming a magazine article based upon their chosen characteristic. As a group, we discussed about raising awareness and to develop our skills with inclusivity. I have recently, indirectly excluded a learner, based upon their introverted nature; although I have spoken to them, where they have stated they are not comfortable in speaking to the group, during a session I still should have attempted to involved them.

As part of our mentoring development we took part in a role playing scenario, where we were either a Mentor or a New Assessor; the objective of this exercise was to challenge each other in developing and suggesting alternative tools and techniques as part of the mentoring process. Points that arose from the group were:

1. The use of an Assessment Pro-forma form to enable a check list self-reflection.
2. Referencing the criteria and how often to meet with a mentor, which would be based upon prior experience.
3. Target setting and creating both constructive Feedback and Feedforward.
4. Knowing the timeframe of the Assessment procedures, working to key dates and ‘How Much’ to actually assess.
5. Working to the grade boundaries in the criteria and using exemplars if provided. I suggested to a colleague to start creating their own.
6. Knowing the awarding body and making contact with them for further guidance and advice.
7. Record keeping to ensure returning learners can continue and to support any Appeals Procedures.

A good phrase was used, “If it is not written down, it did not happen”

The latter part of the session examined ‘Behavioural Management’, this is a topic that I am very keen to investigate for my ‘Action Research’ unit.

Management
1. Ready – Tell – Don’t Ask: Be firm and assertive
2. Steady – Consistent – Running Commentary: Structure
3. Go – Clean Start

Troubleshooting
1. Easy Peasy – Not Challenged – Bored – Extension Target
2. Expertise – Too Hard – Don’t Understand – Too Big: Growth Mindset
3. Diverse – Differentiation – Individual SMART Targets

Overall, this session has given me some food for thought in developing my behavioural management; I will aim to be more aware of my learners external issues and needs; whilst also developing their awareness towards their peers.

Homework:
1. Research the term ‘Philosophy’ in relation to teaching and learning in your area. Bring a definition and description in to discuss.

26/02/2018

I could not attend my class this evening, as I was seconded to conduct a ‘Taster Day’ session; this actually provided a good reflective point of assessment strategies. The purpose of a taster session, is to allow potential learners an opportunity to experience the quality and style of teaching offered from an education provider. The numbers were low for both the photography and the graphic design class, so the two groups were merged into one; this was workable due to the crossover between the two disciplines. Along with a colleague, we set them the challenge of producing minimalist movie posters; this allowed the learners to respond using either stock photographs, that could be reworked, or to create their own graphics. To start, we presented an assortment of examples and asked them to guess the movie, there were a few successful guesses; the purpose of this exercise, was to convey the use of symbology and signs that hint towards either key characters, components or narratives from the target movie. Overall, the group responded well; they conducted some visual research for inspiration and produced some interesting designs and ideas; for the plenary, we displayed each learners’ design via the projector for the group to guess and assess. We summarised, by conveying the power of symbology and that although both disciplines have their strengths, that are both part of the wider study of visual language.

To conclude, this taster session was a good example of an ‘assessment for learning’ event; throughout the lesson, it became clear, which learners were more capable, not just with the design software, but also the interpretation of the objective. There was one learner in particular, who exhibited advanced skills, when compared to their peers; however, this was only one observable session, which could not be used to accurately measure their prior learning. It does evidence though, the contrast of learners and how that a differentiated teaching style is still paramount for stretching, developing and ensuring equality.

Update: 02/03/2018

Just for a bit of fun, I decided to create my own minimalist movie poster…

 

19/02/2018

Following on from my intense week of designing the induction booklet for assessment procedures, I used this reading week time to review my work and reflect upon my progress so far. Overall, I am pleased with my level of work, I believe that I am on track for completing the course more expediently; there are areas to improve upon, such as my classroom behavioural skills and shaking off my HE Lecturer delivery, yet they are improving.

An area that I am enjoying is the development of teaching materials and visual resources; a couple of years ago I designed a ‘Anatomy of Typography’ poster, which illustrated the common parts of type. It has been on my ‘to-do-list’, to redesign this in more detail; so I recently I spent a few days creating an A2 poster that examines type and its structure in much greater detail. Please see below:

 

12/02/2018

Having this week off from the course and from my primary teaching position provided me with the time to complete ‘Learning Objective 04’ from Unit UET3&4, this is the ‘Induction Leaflet for a new member of staff on Assessment Procedures’. I had already planned to tackle this design project, with an aim of getting it near completed; however, I got totally engrossed with the visual research and the formation of content that it turned into a mission to finish. The learning objective of creating this leaflet was to check our understanding and awareness of assessment procedures, more specifically, differentiated procedures. However, based upon my induction experience into my current position, where guidance on assessment procedures was limited, I thought that creating a more detailed booklet would be beneficial.

I conducted some visual research via Pinterest; the learning software with this website is great, as typically my feed is full of graphic design, photography, technology and the occasional comic book art. After narrowing it down, I settled on a geometric inspired spread, the primary shape is a circle, with some hexagons and squares for balance.

As this was to be an induction device for new staff, a logical step for a differentiated assessment approach would be to examine the learners group profile, coupled with the awarding body’s specification. After this introductory section, the required sections to evidence an understanding were as followed:

• A range of assessment methods.
• A range of reasonable adjustments which can be applied for inclusive assessment within regulatory guidelines.
• Differentiated strategies,
• Standardisation procedures to meet the qualification specification.

I found this a challenge as I wanted the design to be ‘just so’; however, its overall formation has been very rewarding, it has reinforced some ideas and tactics that I will endeavour to incorporate  into my own teaching and assessment practice.

05/02/2018

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the key principles of inclusive assessment.
2. Recommend and justify appropriate strategies, inclusive and learning assessment.
3. Analyse a an example of challenging learner behaviour, recommending on on ‘Intervention Strategy’.
Challenge – Apply a range of differentiated approaches to promote learner wellbeing and development.

The opening exercise was to ask us what are the ‘6 Principles of Assessment’; this was easier for the learners who had just recently completed their level 3 or 4 diploma, yet for those who have come from industry or like myself, completed the PTTLS in 2008, it was a brain stretcher. To aid the class, six of us were given a piece of paper with one of the six answers on it. This starter exercise got us to discuss the various elements that need to be taken into consideration during any assessment activity. They are as follows:

1. Authentic – You need to ensure that all work submitted for assessment is original and has been produced by the learner. Checks need to be in place to spot any forms of plagiarism; this can be addressed through the learner using correct referencing techniques, which is to be accompanied by an appropriate bibliography. In some disciplines, supporting artefacts need to be produced to evidence the learners work, such as photographs of items produced as part of coursework (brick laying).

2. Current – The work produced needs to be current and inline with the awarding body’s standards and in some cases, industry regulations. It was discussed, that dependent on the subject, this can fluctuate; the arts being a prime example, where the use of industry standard equipment ICT is not always a requirement. It is feasible that a learner could pass, using outdated software and ICT resources, because they have fulfilled the more academic guided, learning outcomes.

3. Fair – With any form of assessment the lecturer/assessor needs to be completely objective in their approach, no personal views or feelings should be present. If this occurs it could lead to discrimination and inequality, which violates the very Fundamental British Values we strive to instill to our learners. This is another reason why there are stringent assessment systems in place; from Internal Moderation to External Moderation and sampling, the work should be rigorously checked to ensure objectivity has been applied.

4. Reliable – The entire assessment process needs to conform to professional standards, where a fundamental part is having a consistent approach to assessment strategies. With any summative assessment, the marking should be turned around in a timely manner; coupled with the feedback and feedforward being legible to an appropriate standard/level.

5. Sufficient – The material submitted, needs to be of a suitable quality/quantity in order to achieve a fair assessment. Dependent on the parameters of the course and differentiated inclusive methods in place, the evidence could be collated at various points; these are not limited, but can include, group discussions, tutorials, self-evaluations, blog journals etc.

6. Valid – Are the tests/methods of assessments appropriate for the course? The assessment processes should be inline with the subject or qualification; clear guidance on what is to be assessed and that the learner’s work is relevant and that it follows the assessment criteria. If work is inappropriate, then the grade criteria can be referenced to clearly point out to the learner where the artefacts fail to meet the specs.

An important area to be aware of, is data found on the course unit handbook. Previous scenarios were given, where entire classes failed to achieve their qualification due to working to an incorrect course. Therefore, it is paramount that the title, start date, end date, credit allocation, guided learning hours and the most important piece of data, the ‘qualification code’, is all checked and confirmed that it is the current material to work to; if not, then all that hard work could be for nothing!

The following book was recommended to us regarding class behaviour; this is something I will investigate as my current strategy regarding mobile phones is not effective, I may as well be speaking a drunken version of Esperanto to the learners!

 

The primary activity of the session was covering learning objectives 1 & 2, this was done by a group scenarios where we had to start planning our assessment strategies for the term. In two groups we formulated various methods of inclusive assessment methods; these ranged from ensuring that appropriate resources were in place to facilitates the different learners needs to making reasonable adjustments to the assessment criteria.

Towards the end, we played a mobile phone based quiz via a website called Kahoot, this was quite good as a method of recapping and assessing our learning. Through the competitive nature of the game, all learners participated, with some mixed and interesting results. I will look into this as a method of working my mobile phone obsessed learners.

Homework:
• Start cross mapping unit 12 with my completed coursework.
• Continue working on the assessment leaflet for Learning Outcome 03 for UET3 & UET4

 

29/01/2018

Learning Objectives:
1. Develop and recommend strategies for inclusive learning.
2. Describe the type of support and procedures available to safeguard learners.
3. Analyse a range of behaviour management strategy for effective learning.

The starter activity was to write down examples of negative classroom behaviour, then to pin these up on an ‘Agony Board. This was revisited towards the end of the session, where we examined each scenario to try and identify any common issues. This was quite difficult, as the overall issues were negative behaviour, which was evidenced in either poor attendance, language or attitude. The objective was to get to the root, the possible causes of the learners negative behaviour.

A flow model was examined on what to do to follow through with such behaviour.
1. Identify the possible cause
2. Research and analyse possible solutions
3. Apply strategy

Guest Speaker – Gill Sommers
To support our understanding and knowledge of safeguarding, we had a guest speaker. Gill is the Director of Student Recruitment at Fareham College, alongside being part of the ‘Safeguarding Team’. The overall role and duty of the safeguarding team is to support and safeguard learners. The talk was very informative and was contextualised through recent events; it was pointed out that new safeguarding policies have been put in place as a result of past events. I feel that this supports the old idiom of ‘Closing the barn door, once the horse has bolted.’

It was reiterated that it is everyones duty to protect and safeguard children; no one should ignore any potential issues, not matter how small they may be. Actual events were described, where people were in a position to report an incident/crime against a child and failed to do so, in which the result was the death of a child. It was recommended that it is better to report any incident, not matter how small, as this information can be added and examined to paint a larger picture. 

A question was posed, that who do you contact if you believe a learner/child is experiencing abuse?
The answer was simple: call Children Services on 03005551384
If you are in an organisation, such as a college, then raise the concern with the safeguarding team, who can then assess the situation and contact Children Services. 

In addition to observation and awareness the importance of record keeping was addressed; rigorous documentation provides evidence for cases and can, upon the correct procedural request, be shared with the appropriate agency/organisation. Aside from providing evidence of concern/abuse, record keeping can be utilised to inform other educational institutes of a learners requirements; for example a learners profile can be passed from a secondary school to a college, which can then be used to further develop learning strategies to better support their progression.

The final part of the session was practical based in the IT room, where we could work upon out group profiles and other assignments.

Homework
• Complete the team role questionnaire found at www.123test.com/team-roles-test

• Continue Group Profiles
• Research the assessment procedures used in your own practice, bring an example.
• Challenge task for me: Start examining Task 03 on creating an induction leaflet on assessment guiding.

22/01/2018

Our Learning Outcomes for tonight’s session were:

1) Devise and justify appropriate Teaching, Learning and Assessment strategies for inclusive learning.
2) Recommend ways to support learner development.

I should start to include these with every reflective diary entry, yet sometimes I forget to write the LO’s down. These were expanded upon, in which only after a few minutes we achieved a couple, simply by discussing and recapping on the GROW model, which was delivered to us at last weeks session by the guest speaker. The recap session continued, where we deconstructed the GROW model and made further suggestions to support each heading; a keyword that was emphasised was ‘WILL’; this is so the learner is aware that they will do/undertake the suggested target/pathway. SMART Targets were also examined, where a common practice of creating bite-sized targets was discussed; this is ideal as what could be holding a learner back is unachievable targets. It may be that the Smart Target is achievable, yet it is too high at this moment, where incremental steps need to be taken to develop the learner to achieve. A Smart Target would be to analyse the overall learning objects and forumate smaller component that feed into it.

The crux of the session was to suggest, examine and suggest Inclusive Learning Strategies to support learner development. We were split into small groups/pairings, where we were then assigned some faux learner demographics for us to analyses and forumate some personalised strategies to cater for each specific needs. Once this was completed, we then presented our findings to the class where we could share and develop our ideas. From this we formed a toolkit list of possible strategies to help us develop our individual learner profiles.

The Strategies:
• Pairing a learner up with a ‘Study Buddy’
• Assign the learner a responsibility/role within the group
• Create a webinar/recording of the lesson
• Arrange for a diagnostic assessment
• Arrange for reasonable adjustment
• Ask questions to find out more
• Explore possible patterns that may be affecting behaviour
• Sufficiently challenging both high and low
• Setting clear, mutually agreeable boundaries

All of this directly feeds into UET3 & UET4, however as part of holistic approach to TLA, you can easily see how devising and developing strategies is of great benefit towards all units.

Homework:
• Research your organisations safeguarding policy

• Devise a range of questions for next week’s guest speaker – Student Services
• Bring in an example of challenging behaviour you have experienced in your own practice for ‘Behaviour Management Surgery’
• Continue with group profiles
• Research into Belbin’s Team Roles

15/01/2018

Tonights session was primarily concerned with the duty of mentoring and how that can differ between various roles within education. The starter was a follow on from last weeks session, which was about the function of Learning Support Assistants LSA’s and their invaluable role and impact on learners with learning difficulties and other educational needs. Individually, we had to write down a short list about what forms of ‘Initial’ and ‘Diagnostic’ methods and/or systems are in place to assess the needs and requirements of the learner.

An initial assessment, could be as simple as obtaining the prior learning assessment from the learners secondary school; an analysis and follow-on could provide an overall picture. Another form of assessment could be a group activity to measure the learners social dynamics. Assessment of Learning is pivotal in understanding what requirements, each and every single learner may require to enable the best chance of equal learning and development.

Speaker: Frances Lovett

Tonight we had a speaker who guided the class through the roles and responsibilities of a mentor. It started with a quote from a leading academic in the field of mentoring and coaching, Eric Parsloe:

“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”

A quick translation – “Help them help themselves” 

One of the tasks was that we had to list our thoughts of what the role of mentor details; the entire class listed the various key points, most were quite logical, such as being ‘objective’ and ‘encouraging’. There were a few fundamental points raised; these were, ‘knowing the infrastructure and wider support framework, within their organisation’ and ‘having an approachable and supportive presence’. Once we conferred as a group and discussed the answers, we were then introduced the GROW mentoring/coaching model; which according to some preliminary research, there is dispute over who devised this model. However, as models go, it is a simple and logical acronym; you identifying goals, assess current state, analyse different routes, then finally actualise them. Please see below, my visual interpretation of the GROW model.

An exercise, that put into action our learning, was a role playing activity. For this, one of us took on the role of a learner with specific welfare/pastoral needs, another was acting as the mentor, then two were assigned the roles of observers.

The scenario: An eighteen year old student was pressured by family to quit college, so they could earn money to bring into the home. An ultimatum was given that if they did not quit college, then they would be evicted from their home.

• The initial advice provided, was to discuss the issue with the parents at the next available parents evening.
• The student stated that this would take too long, where they could be evicted.
• This then evolved into further advising the student to go and see student support after the lesson to then elevate the matter through the correct services.
• To reassure them, the support was put into action, where the mentor would go with them immediately to seek advice.

My mentoring was observed as being positive, with just my vocabulary commented upon, where it was perceived as being too professional and not compassionate enough. Offering the student, different avenues of advice was noted, where an achievable and actualised solution could be actioned. With mentoring, it is about knowing your limitations as an advice giver and knowing about the institutes support infrastructure, where you can seek the correct support.

One of the sessions last exercises, was to brainstorm the various responsibilities associated with a ‘Personal Tutor’, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Course Team Leader’. We achieved this be working in three small groups, where on each table was a sheet of flipchart paper with each role. In our groups, we had to write down as many  responsibilities for our role in about two minutes; once complete we then rotated around, this enabled each group to formulate their answers for each role. It was clear that each role shared a few responsibilities, yet they were all very distinct in their primary pastoral function.

We played some dexterity and cognitive games. I’ll admit that I did not play ball so to speak.

Homework
• Work upon group profiling by using the template provided.

• Look into Belbins Team Roles