There is a growing concern of the dangers of the online world. This year, with the level 1’s group, I had many issues that I had to deal with adequately. As a tutor it is important to be aware of the issues that students are faced with today.
The level 1 I.T students spend a lot of time on the internet, playing games, interacting with online friends and using social media. As a group and individuals, they lack social skills. Therefore as a personal tutor, I have a duty of pastoral care and need to ensure that they have an opportunities to develop their social skills that will help them, for example, securing a job in the future.
I therefore, placed them on work experience to gain employability skills and develop a sense of responsibility. I wanted students to understand the important of employablity so prior to their work experience we started to look at a range of employablity skills. I conducted these activities to ensure that they were fun and active simply because most students do not like work experience ! This was then recorded on ProMonitor as shown below:
This helps to keep a record of what they have done in regards to the topics. Pro-Monitor allows students to also view their achievements as well as their teachers.
We all worked together to find relevant work experiences. We all went away with 2-3 contact details and as homework we made sure that we contacted potential employers and then we gave feedback to the group. We then narrowed this down to the jobs that has a risk assessment put in place. Students really enjoyed this process and I wanted to know why. Therefore, in tutorial, I asked for the feedback and they identified the following:
- Working together – “we all worked together and the tutor also engaged in the activities”
- Control – “had control over where we went so it was more enjoyable” – It wasn’t boring and we had the same responsibility and was treated like adults
- Environment was relaxed and comfortable and we shared ideas
Based on this, I started to adopt my teaching activities which, were I could, focused on these three aspects. This worked very well with my Level 1’s. The feedback was an important aspect as this allowed me to understand what students found useful in terms of learning. It was also important because it helps me to develop my own professional understanding within teaching by analysing my strengths and weaknesses.
Brookfield (2017) identified that viewing the class from a student perspective helps you become more aware and mindful of different situations that is difficult to acknowledge if you only look at it from one perspective (e.g. teacher’s lens). For example, if i did not gain such feedback, I probably would have misinterpreted the success of the lesson to another factor and may have ignored the above factors.
Another crucial factor that Brookfield (1995) identified is that by using the student lens we also become more aware of some of the issues that they have to deal with. For example, social media was not something I personally used when I was a teenager. I used MSN, a form of instant messaging to talk to my friends and that was the extent to the use of the internet as a social means. However, today students are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. and they are more exposed to the world. This is where its important to be aware of the issues that students face today. The best way to do this? Simple; talk to them and we can only get them to talk to us, if we are understanding and approachable which is a crucial aspect in establishing a strong teacher-student relationship.
PS3, PS4, PS12
Brookfield, S.D.(1995) Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass
Brookfield S.D. (2007). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. (2nd edition) San Fransisco: Jossey- Bass