Teaching and learning is a never-ending process and for those who teach, it is a day-to-day process. Ensuring that your students have completed their homework whilst consistently ensuring that your learners are making progress is simply part of your role. However, what happens when it's you in the hot seat of education and you are teacher and learner at the same time?
All of my peers (and, interestingly a majority of my students) are both supportive and at times sympathetic regarding to their support of a member of staff undertaking additional training. Many of my students are supportive in terms of how they see one of their teachers undertaking a qualification that requires me to study, complete coursework and improve ones knowledge of a specific arena. As year 11 students undertaking the exact same procedure, communication and general academic relationships with the students have become more relatable. This has also improved the dynamic of the classroom as they find me as their teacher more “human” (not that I wasn’t before)!
My colleagues have also been very supportive in terms of me undertaking an additional teaching qual as one or two of my other colleagues are also undertaking training and qualifications for their own professional development and again, we have had more to talk about in terms of commitment, workload and work/life balance. It may be a simple ‘how are you doing’ from across the staff room to a full conversation about specific topics within the framework of the specification. It has also increased awareness of the need to undertake professional development regardless of position, experience or age and doing so creates an air of almost competition. We all work very hard and we certainly play hard and it’s nice that we have created (not deliberately) a support network within the site that has enabled us to support, direct, manage (ourselves and each other) and guide as and where required whether we are undertaking further professional development or not.
Of course, the additional work load is there - I've written an extra 1500 words this afternoon alone, which means I won't have to do it tonight whilst trying to figure out new plot holes that appear in Eastenders but using your PPA time at school isn't necessarily the way to go. The most important thing to do, I have found, is to share your experiences with both your colleagues and your students and being mindful of your own targets and personal deadlines, you should be in line for the qualification that you are studying for. You wouldn’t be doing it otherwise - right?