Alessia Di Meo is a Functional Skills tutor for apprenticeships on behalf of the Fire Brigade Union Learning centre, which works in partnership with further education providers to deliver a range of courses and recognised qualifications in IT, Maths, English, Preparation for Life and Work, Health and Social Care and Business and Administration.
What was your motivation for and experience of undertaking QTLS?
I wanted to develop professionally and every time I applied for a job, the employer would ask me at the interview if I held QTLS.
I liked the fact that I was in control of demonstrating my professionalism. This boosted my self-esteem and confidence. The whole experience made me appreciate the importance of developing communities of practice. The tasks were straightforward and there was a useful guideline from The Society for Education and Training (SET) about what was needed. The SET team were always very helpful and responded quickly – making the whole experience a positive one from start to finish.
What support did you have?
My supporter was approachable and guided me in the right direction throughout the process – as well as understanding that I had to find things out for myself.
How has it benefited you and your learners?
It has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone as a teacher and try new ways of working. It has helped me realise the importance of working as a team and sharing ideas to improve. Having achieved QTLS, I am constantly reflecting on how I can continue improving my teaching.
My learners are benefiting from my openness and honesty – and become more motivated when I ask them for their ideas and opinions.
What impact has it had on your practice and your organisation?
I have developed a positive relationship with my learners and my new teaching strategies have allowed me to understand their needs better – for example, giving them more time to answer difficult questions.
My working relationship with colleagues has also improved, as well as higher student retention – and my employer has recognised the hard work and commitment that I have shown with my professional development.
How has QTLS impacted your career?
Before achieving QTLS, I had been unsuccessful at several interviews. I was awarded QTLS in April 2017 and in my last interview, I talked about the QTLS process and how I had developed professionally – as well as my commitment to lifelong learning. I was thrilled to be offered the post of Functional Skills tutor.
What have you learned about yourself?
I must continue to learn new skills – as knowledge is power. Instead of working in isolation, I will strive to learn more from others and share my knowledge with colleagues.
How did your colleagues support you throughout the process?
My colleagues were very supportive and I appreciated their wealth of experience. One of my colleagues is considering applying for QTLS because they now understand its importance.
How will you continue to develop your practice?
I am currently studying a BA degree in Education and I also hope to work towards a Master’s in Education.
What advice would you give teachers/trainers who are thinking about undertaking QTLS?
I would recommend QTLS because it has been very rewarding and fulfilling. Employers are looking for staff who are willing to continue developing professionally – and having the qualification boosts your career prospects.
For more information about QTLS and to find out how to register, please visit our dedicated QTLS section.