Fellow SET member Louise Fowler talks about her role at Babcock International and why she is so passionate about teaching and training.
Where do you work?
My role at Babcock International is to support and deliver teaching and training to the Royal Navy. Our training capability encompasses three core services: management of training, the design, development and delivery of training, and the provision and management of training infrastructure.
We work alongside the Royal Navy across all of its main training establishments, including HMS Collingwood in Fareham, HMS Raleigh, and the Britannia Royal Naval College in South West England.
Tell us more about your role
A large number of our training staff are ex-service personnel, therefore they have the military knowledge and understanding to deliver focused training. As a Senior Defence Trainer within the Coaching for Training Network, I am responsible for trainer development. This involves giving staff the opportunity to work one-to-one with experienced educators and develop their teaching skills through our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
My role is diverse, from delivering Initial Teacher Training (Level 3 Award in Education & Training) to conducting teaching observations for quality assurance and development purposes. I also provide a coaching and mentoring service to both Babcock and Royal Navy personnel.
What does being a member of SET mean to you?
There is a passionate drive to support trainers so they have the skills they need to supply quality teaching and training as a dual-professional. I’ve not been a Fellow for long, but the main thing that stands out for me is the increasing network opportunities. This is something that is crucial to any practitioner when it comes to sharing best practice, as well as learning from others.
I have found it easy to become complacent, but having met with other trainers through SET I have been inspired to try new ideas, challenge some of my own perceptions, and learn more about an ever growing industry that fascinates me.
The FE sector is huge and by learning how other organisations work and being able to support each other we, like many other industries can strive to have a common language. SET offers good quality CPD that is value for money, and having staff who are part of SET promotes a strong sense of professional identity and ensures that our staff are part of a lively community of practice.
What are your plans for the future?
One of my main focuses is to make trainers aware of where they are achieving the Professional Standards in their day-to-day delivery. We already conduct regular teaching observations to help development, but reinforcing these with links to how they are performing against nationally recognised standards will encourage excellence.
I am passionate about teaching and training and my aim is to keep developing what we do to support our trainers. For example, the CPD lessons that we offer are being updated with new concepts and will provide valuable refreshers in topics such as ‘The blending of traditional teaching and technology for the 21st Century’, ‘Awareness of the Government’s Prevent Strategy and how it is approached in a service education environment’ and ‘Teaching strategies to aid SpLD and identifying ways to embed functional skills’.
Another key area I’ll be continuing to develop is our robust mentoring strategy to support those that have completed the initial teacher training at Level 3, along with trainers who are undertaking higher qualifications.
What motivates you to get up in the morning?
We have the ability to influence and support hundreds of training delivery personnel, which will ultimately improve the learner journey. We have seen trainers try new teaching methods in their lesson and make a decision to progress their skills to become the best they can possibly be. Knowing that your support, mentorship and teaching had some little part in changing how people approach teaching of all kinds is an immensely satisfying feeling.
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