Liam James is a lecturer and course coordinator at Weston College for the BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport (Development, Coaching and Fitness). Alongside teaching he is the director of a junior football club which competes in the Junior Premier League, helping to develop aspiring footballers through improving the quality of coaching.
What was your motivation for and experience of undertaking QTLS?
I wanted to develop as a practitioner and gain recognition of my status as a professional teacher. I enjoy and feel challenged within my role and now want to progress in my career.
I liked the idea of working independently to progress while working at home and enjoyed using a webfolio as an alternative assessment method. The SET team were fantastic and helpful in assisting with technical issues. The self-reflection element gave me the opportunity to identify key strengths and highlight areas for development.
What support did you have?
My supporter was brilliant throughout the whole process and fully committed – having gone through QTLS himself – he could fully engage with my teaching practice and provide critical feedback. My colleagues were also supportive throughout and offered guidance where needed.
How has it benefited you and your learners?
It has given me the chance to try new innovative teaching methods which my learners have enjoyed. Trying new things and reflecting has strengthened my teaching skills and allowed learners to contribute, creating a positive learning environment.
What impact has it had on your practice, as well as your organisation?
My learners have felt challenged throughout the year with new strategies that stretch them out of their comfort zone and develop their cognitive skills.
The QTLS process has enabled me to share good practice with colleagues in my teaching department, and it was great to share ideas with new trainee teachers to enhance their development.
How has QTLS impacted your career?
QTLS has improved my career prospects and I am hoping to secure a position as a subject lecturer within higher education. I want to continue progressing and feel that QTLS will also positively impact my colleagues.
What have you learned about yourself?
I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a practitioner. My ability to self-reflect and critique my own practice has progressed over time to a point where I can effectively review my lessons to enhance learning outcomes.
How will you continue to develop your practice?
My next steps will be to study for a Master’s degree in either Sports Coaching or Education. I have ambitions to secure a role within Quality where I can become more effective in the development of teachers and learners.
What advice would you give teachers/trainers who are thinking about undertaking QTLS?
I would definitely recommend QTLS to teachers for their personal development. I feel that I have become a better overall practitioner and it has opened up opportunities to work abroad in the future if I wish to. Throughout the process, I applied lots of innovative strategies where some worked and some didn’t – however I always reflected on the impact this had on learners. For me, it is vital to know your learners and put them first.
For more information about QTLS and to find out how to register, please visit our dedicated QTLS section.