I approached the first session with a degree of trepidation; a considerable time has elapsed since achieving Stage 1, during the autumn term of 2003. So when the first part which drew out peoples experiences from the most recent stage 1 I felt initially would not include mine. However, upon listening to the negative and positive experiences and feeling of others, I did recall some commonality with my experiences several years ago. It was good opportunity for people to air what seemed to me valid complaints, which must also, to be fair, be set against the constraints applied to the provider from above.
Throughout this session, though obviously many people knew each other from the previous term, I did sense that the group would rapidly develop a positive class dynamic. The prospect of Icebreakers is one, which always initially fills me with dread, but invariably fills me with delight during and after the activity which is what icebreakers are about I guess.
I have always liked the imposition of a timeframe, set to timetable submissions, we do it as lecturers /teachers for assignment based courses, so it is right that when we are on the receiving end, we should accept a similar regime.
This brings me onto one of my major worries, how on earth do I fit it all in? Already I feel that my teaching quality is suffering under the load of all the additional administration work that we are told is now part of the job, so with my own coursework added onto that, what is the effect going to be? The solution must have something to do with time management, but right now I don’t seem to have much time to manage anyway!
We began an introduction to Unit 117, to write an essay on an issue which impacts on FE and to analyse how this affects our role. I was forewarned this might occur, so I have done some sketchy preparatory research already, but having now read the criteria for myself, I may have to rethink as to whether my original idea is suitable.
Friday2nd February 2007
(0730- 3rd Feb)
National Diploma Year 1, unit 34, Electronics, venue C014 WGC Campus, 1045-1215 This group displays a wide spectrum of abilities and behavioural issues, some have very poor attendance and punctuality issues, some are plainly not interested in any subject and have yet to complete any assigned work (But it beats working for a living). From conversations with other staff, for many this cuts across all subjects. C014 is a multipurpose room equipped with networked computers and workbenches for practical work on electronics, pneumatics, plcs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and hydraulics.
Despite all this, it is not a good room for pure teaching, the layout is fixed and the seating is arranged such that it encourages the learners to look away from the tutor and some are hidden behind computer monitors. The plan for this session was to briefly recap/assess learning from the previous session, introduce a new theoretical topic, carry out a paper-based activity and then to prove it by using simulation software.
The lesson did not proceed entirely as planned, mainly because at the start, only eight out of eighteen learners was present, after five minutes there were twelve and I decided to start. Despite the constant interruptions caused by the arrivals of the latecomers, the recap session went quite well with most learners displaying adequate recall of the previous session in response to direct questioning, though this took rather longer than I had planned. I developed the recap into the new, main topic for the day, which included the appreciation of what is sometimes a troublesome concept. I was working with both open and direct questioning and boardwork, by the time I had been lecturing for twenty-five minutes and I noticed that some learners were losing focus, being seduced by the easy option of the computer. However, because I was very nearly at the end of delivering the topic, I persisted but I feel...