Saturday, 8 March 2014

At least I’m good at something

Most of my recent postings have been on the morbid side so I thought I’d post something that shows me in a good light for a change.  In January, I started a short teacher training course to get some initial qualification behind me if it transpired that I’d prove myself to be a good educator.  Below are some of the e-mail feedback on the various assignments I have submitted, reproduced here with the kind permission of my tutor, John Hamilton, who has been so supportive of my efforts.

The pre-course assignment

As a pre-course task, each student was asked to write a short piece on what they believed to be the role and duties of a teacher.  The feedback I received was much better than I hoped.

This is an excellent warm up for the course, Miles, to the extent that I think you well be able to use much of it in your start to Task One in January.

You have already identified key issues, such as the teacher as facilitator, the important role of assessment, the need to focus on potential, the central role of CVPD and the key principle that it is the learner who is the most important in the whole process.

You also submitted it more than a week ahead of schedule, which all bodes really well!

Very well done - I shall add a few comments to printed off copy and return this to you in the first session.

The first essay

Being the kind of man I am, I submitted my essays in sections for feedback before finalizing it.  Below is a selection of the comments on each section.

My only concern about your work, Myles, is that you don't work too hard during the course!This is an excellent start to the task, clearly heading for a standard way above the minimum required for a pass.
Well done!

Your additional work certainly addresses the point I mentioned - well done.
The practical examples you have provided are very useful and could certainly be used if referred to in one of your essay.
You could use if for task one but I would be inclined to use it for the first section of task to, to illustrate inclusivity.
Well done and see you later”

This is most impressive, Myles, and your additional section and the amendments work really well.
“Presentation is also excellent.

A most impressive achievement, Myles - very well done, and now certain of a strong pass for this first assignment.

The second essay

You have maintained your high standard with a great start to Task 2 - well done again, Myles.
Of course to achieve the inclusivity you describe learners will be provided with a variety of individual and collaborative learning opportunities and you also imply that in what you write.
You are keeping well ahead of the game!

This is another excellent piece of work, Myles, which is at very high pass standard.
Well done!

Again you have identified the key issues expertly and made the valuable link forward with Feedback to prepare us for Assessment in Task 3.
With completion of the middle section on Functional Skills this is likely to give you another major success.
Well done!

The third essay

Nothing omitted and a definite pass once more, from a quick skim through Myles.
Your Task 2 was assessed yesterday and recommended as a very strong pass.
It was perceptive, thorough, concise, developmental and extremely well written.
It was a pleasure to read,

The micro-teach session plan

The course requires that every student plans and delivers a twenty minute lesson on whatever subject they choose.  Obviously I chose to deliver a session on depression.  However, during the two weeks leading up to and during the planning of the session, I was struck down by a severe bout of depression, hence the initial comment on the feedback for my second attempt at writing the first part of the session plan.
Well done with battling on, Myles, and it has proved successful.
This has varied learner activities and measurable outcomes.
It's looking good!
And here’s the feedback on the full session plan:

This is really impressive, Myles - informative and rigorously evaluative.
Very well done!

Task Four reflective journal

At the end of every task, students are expected to complete a reflective journal.  For Task Four, however, the journal had to be much more detailed so, as always, I ran my completed journal past my tutor to get his initial thoughts and whether any additions were needed.

Spot on, Myles!
In fact, the way you have divided each section into planning and practice I may well recommend to the group next week.

Summative Profile and Action Plan

At the end of the course, students have to fill in a summative profile and action plan which looks at your strengths, what you’ve learned and what you plan to do in the future as a result of being on the course.  I have quite an empty life nowadays so I completed my final form in prior to session eight of the course.  I submitted it for my tutor’s comments before session eight.

Well done, Myles.
This should constitute a valuable final doc for a most successful Portfolio.

On 5 March I submitted my completed portfolio which does not have to be submitted until 19 March.  I thought it would give me the opportunity to leave early if there were no problems with the portfolio or extra time to rectify any problems before the final session.  I’ll let you know how I get on.

I know posting this entry, filled as it is with positive comments about my work on the course, may look to some as narcissistic but I’m posting it because I want people to know that, even though I have been written off by most people, I can achieve something good.

I only wished I believed half of the comments my tutor made but my depression won’t allow me that pleasure; however, I suppose this final line teaches more about the effects of depression on a person than I could ever do in any other way so I can put this down as a little bit of mental health awareness too.

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