Tag Archives: teacher

A Micro-Teach experience – (Education and Training Course)

28 May

As part of the Education and Training course, all learners are required to conduct a Micro-Teach. A Micro-Teach assesses the more practical side of teaching – running a lesson.

This process may seem incredibly daunting to some (including myself at the time) but it’s in fact a great learning experience and thoroughly enjoyable.

I’m the kind of person who’s cheeks will rapidly become a deep shade of red just at the thought of addressing an audience. So the idea of teaching a class of adults really had me biting my nails. However, there was much more to it then standing and stuttering in front of my peers.

There is such a variety of talent within an Education and Training group so you are not given boundaries as to what you must teach in your class, and are encouraged to choose something you have good knowledge on or a hobby. I personally have a background in Art so for me it was an easy choice, at least that’s what I thought until I realised how broad this was.

Seemingly throughout this panic period I had forgotten the importance of planning within the teaching role. Everything started to come into place once we had been given a detailed example of a Micro-Teach lesson plan. Seeing the plan enabled me to think logically about each time slot of the 20 minute lesson and how I could fill it with something beneficial and relevant. Learners are to be engaged by the lesson and get fully involved, so I didn’t have to just stand at the front talking. In fact, it should be 70/30 Learner to teacher activity.

In the end I decided I would hold my Micro-Teach on speed portrait drawing, as this meant I could get everybody involved whilst fitting it into the small time frame. I was lucky that I had a background in such a practical activity as it made the ratio of talking and involvement easier to fulfil. When it came to the day itself there were still some lingering nerves but when I got started with my plan in close proximity it was all worth it.

If you prepare what you’re going to do and your subject then the Micro-Teach can be such a fun experience. The thing to remember is that all your learners on the day are going to be going through the same worried states and will be completely supportive of one another as they are in the same boat. Having the opportunity to watch the other teachers is also a fascinating part of the day and you may even leave with a lot extra knowledge.

All in all, do not fear the Micro-Teach, embrace it and enjoy all the possibilities it has!
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Please contact us if you want to know how to start an Education and training course.

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Kasia McClure – Director, Our Community Matters – Blog #1

10 Feb

My journey has been an interesting one. Born in Poland in the 70s, my father was granted political asylum by Germany when I was little, but it took years for my mum and I to follow. When we eventually joined him, I was placed in a school with no German language skills. I had never left Poland – at that time, firmly behind the iron curtain. I was bullied, my parents struggled and the shock was immense. Nevertheless within a year I had immersed and made it into a grammar school. This was when my parents decided to move to Canada, where I had to do it all over again, graduating from high school and eventually becoming a teacher.

I am still a teacher by profession, though along the way I have also been a journalist (in Canada), trade and investment advisor (for the British Embassy in Warsaw) a media assistant (in London) and I worked with foreign national prisoners in Northern Ireland. I have also lived in America and Mongolia. So how did I end up in Torbay? My husband is from the Bay. We worked all over the world as he had a variety of postings, and I was able to teach in most places. When we had children, he was offered a home based job and we decided to move to Torquay, as it is a lovely place to raise a young family. When my second (and final) child turned two, I decided to go back to work and got a job in the Pastoral Team at Ellacombe Academy.

I loved the work but wanted to expand and use my life experience, my qualified teacher status and my love of working with vulnerable children and families for the greater good. I handed in my notice and set about working on establishing my own social enterprise, now known as ‘Our Community Matters’. Four weeks after having left Ellacombe in November last year, I had developed my product concept – and built a prototype website. Many of my contacts and ideas come from the school run, and Helen from Pink Fish Design (www.pinkfish-design.co.uk) was one of these people. Helen came up with wonderful branding and a logo based on my colour pallet and I was starting to build a credible business already.

But what is my product? I wanted to work with the local community in Torbay, particularly with primary and secondary schools, working with children with learning difficulties, those who don’t speak English as their first language, those who struggle to integrate and those who have behavioural problems. I want to help their parents and carers. I want to give teachers and assistants ideas on how to reach these people. I want to make a living, but I want to reinvest most of my profit into the community – hence I am a social enterprise. And I am thrilled to say that with four contracts, 400 twitter followers, a facebook page with over 200 likes and a thriving dialogue with other similar organisations in Torbay and further afield, I couldn’t be happier with how things have started.

To find out more, look at my website, follow me on Twitter @kasiamcclure1 or like and share my Facebook page. Stay tuned for my next blog entry and @boosttorbay!

 

Return to Learn

2 Dec

We have met many inspirational people who have returned to education later in life; here are some of their stories:

Janet:

“Some years ago, at the grand old age of 33, I decided it was time I got a proper job!  I had worked in pubs and shops and offices but felt unfulfilled; I could be heard to say that I didn’t want to have “Here Lies Unfulfilled Potential” written on my tombstone.  I was really the only person that could ensure that that didn’t happen.

I was the single Mum of two lovely children, both of whom were now at school.  This was my time!

I embarked on a Return to Learn course, which led onto an Access course and then a teaching degree at Exeter University – in total a five year project!  Five years in which I sometimes felt out of my depth, and wondered who I was kidding to think I was capable of a degree; however, it was also five years in which I felt enlivened, excited and energised – I realised I did have a brain and that I loved delving into literature and its hidden meanings, and I also learned that I could “feel the fear but do it anyway” to paraphrase a well-known saying!

I am now in my 13th year of teaching – having gone from Mealtime Assistant to Assistant Head Teacher – and I can honestly say I never feel unfulfilled!

I believe that there are often unintended consequences of our actions – I think my children saw a good role model – and so did some of my friends – 3 of them have gone onto study at university – one to PHd level, after watching me and seeing anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

If you are remotely tempted to make a change, take a leap of faith, give it a go – what have you got to lose? …..Oh, and Good Luck!”

Lucy:

Lucy was working as a lawyer, and had a good job which she loved.  Following the birth of her daughter, she found that she was no longer as excited by and passionate about her job, and wanted to try something new.  She wanted to be able to work closer to home, term time only, and in a rewarding role.  She decided to retrain as a Classroom Assistant.  She started volunteering in the local primary school and enrolled on a course at her local college.  Now with a second baby, Lucy has completed her course and has just been offered her first job as a Classroom Assistant!

“I will earn a lot less money, but I’ll have more job satisfaction, and the pay-off is the holidays – I get to spend time with my family.  I am keeping up with my Legal Continuing Professional Development though, as it means I can always use my Legal skills.”

Sophie Duffy is an author from Devon who has had two books published: The Generation Game and This Holey Life.

“How did I start?  It was back in 2001.  We’d just moved from London to Worthing with our three kids, aged 2, 4 and 5.  I didn’t know anyone and my brain was going to mush so I decided to do an evening class.  I chose creative writing partly because I had done an English degree but mainly because it was on an evening when my husband was around to babysit.  After the first lesson, I was hooked.  I had a fantastic tutor and made some great friends.  I went on to do an MA in Creative Writing by distance learning at Lancaster University.

Eleven years on from that first evening class, my kids are 13, 16 and 17 – so look out for teenage angst in the next novel.  Now I just have to write it…”

To find out more about Sophie and her writing, see her website www.sophieduffy.com.  Sophie is also one of the authors behind Creative Writing Matters – offering support to other aspiring authors through workshops and mentoring.  See www.creativewritingmatters.co.uk to find out more.

Are you thinking about a career change?  Check out Opportunity Plus UK’s great range of courses.  Whether you already have the skills and ideas you need and just want a basic Business Start-up course, or you want to learn a brand new skill, Opportunity Plus UK have the course for you.  Visit www.opportunityplus.org.uk for a full course list.