Effective teaching

Jane Coughlan
10th March 2021

This reflection was contributed as a submission for a 2 Star Badge in Connected and Effective (Leading)

Give a brief description of your work context and responsibilities, e.g. your teaching background, experience, type of organisation (e.g. FE college, ACL), subject/curriculum you teach/lead, your learners (skills level, any particular inclusion needs, age range of group, size of group)

I am a part of the Community and Family Learning team for ACL and joined in Jan 2020. I generally teach wellbeing courses to a wide range of learners with varying skill levels, ages and backgrounds.
Previous to this role I worked as a reintegration teacher at a pupil referral unit and in private schools at both primary and secondary level as an LSA

How did you use the learning from this/these module(s) (briefly describe the learning context, with a focus on Connected and Effective)

I have reviewed my work area at home and invested in a new desk and chair to alleviate the back ache I was suffering from sitting at an inappropriate workstation for too long, which was making me very uncomfortable and therefore less effective in my role. I have also written in a specific section to an upcoming course to ensure I check that my learners are comfortable and are positioned... more

How did you adapt/modify activities and/or resources for your context providing alternative approaches with specific reference to Connected and Effective practices?

As a result of changing my workstation I am far more relaxed and have noticed my back is no longer suffering at the end of the day, enabling me retain and recall more information and be more effective in my role.
I am also taking regular breaks and have set myself stronger boundaries so that I am not answering emails out of office hours and can differentiate my home life from my work... more

Provide any examples of any new approaches tested out.

I have trialled asking learners to stretch at the start of a session before a recent first aid workshop and, as mentioned above, I am now taking regular breaks in my work day, with a defined lunch hour at 12:30.

What worked well, or did not work so well? How would you approach the activity/use the resource differently next time?

The learners were a little sceptical about stretching before learning but once I had explained the rationale behind it they could see why it might help. Next time I will suggest they switch off their cameras if they feel self conscious.

How did the learning from the module(s) impact on the quality of the learning experience?

Learners commented that they felt more relaxed after stretching at the start of the session and all scored well in a workshop quiz, showing that it had helped their knowledge retention. They all reported that they had increased their confidence in the subject and gave positive feedback on the session.

How have you initiated strategic change/quality improvement in relation to Connected and Effective, eg at a peer, department, organisational, regional, national level)?

I have spoken to my peers about the benefits I have noticed in putting greater emphasis on my personal wellbeing and being more rigid in my working hours and reminded them that employees have the ability to request more ergonomic furniture from our employer to assist our wellbeing. I have also reminded them that we have access to a wellbeing portal, free of charge, if we are feeling overwhelmed... more

What will be your next step in bringing about further change?

I am going to enquire with my line manager as to whether there is the possibility of me being a 'Wellbeing Champion' for our team and having more regular meetings focused on how we are coping with workload etc. This is something that is done but not as a regular meeting and on more of an ad-hoc basis.

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About This Reflection

Level 4
Curriculum Area
Family learning

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