Sue Dew-Gosling has been teaching for 10 years and is also a moderater for AQA. She works at Bracknell and Wokingham College as a Creative Arts Lecturer, teaching students on Level 2 and 3 Art and Design Courses.
What was your motivation for undertaking QTLS?
I wanted to gain QTLS because I felt without it my teaching qualification was not quite finished, therefore I decided to follow on to complete it straight after my PGCE/PCE. Secondly, if I ever decide to go back to teaching in a secondary school I would have the qualifications required to do this.
I also thought that QTLS would enhance my development as a teacher and encourage me to continue improving my practices. I found that keeping a reflective diary is a very useful way of keeping track on how lessons are going and which areas could be adapted. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of all types has a positive influence on teaching practice, which in turn benefits learners. Lastly, I believe it is the professional thing to do. I have the responsibility to be as recognisably qualified as I can be to give my learners the best possible chance to succeed.
What support did you have?
Discussions with my supporter were extremely useful on a practical level.
What did you like about it?
Once I had got my head around how to use it, the online work book was easy to use and upload documents to. There was a lot of help and advice available, either by emailing or speaking to one of the SET team. The fact you could tailor the CPD to your own requirements was important to me. This made the process interesting and valuable.
How has it benefited you as a teacher/trainer and, as a result, your learners?
I tried out lots of new ideas which helped with my development and engaged learners through the variety of teaching strategies that I used. More knowledge on any subject is always a positive and this enables me to be more confident in my job.
How has QTLS impacted your career?
At present I am in the same position as I am happy where I am. Having QTLS does give me the option of choice if I decide to change posts and it also shows I am as qualified as I can be. Having achieved QTLS with commendation on the quality of my work has been a bonus.
What impact has it had on your practice and your learners?
After researching and trying out new ways of approaching tasks, I have realised that a big difference can be made to learners’ motivation and in turn their work output.
What impact did it have on your organisation?
Critiques, strategies, assessment and Photoshop Skills CPD have benefitted the department, but I believe my art and maths CPD is the area that will potentially have the most impact on my organisation.
What have you learned about yourself?
Throughout this process, I have realised that trying out new methods does not always achieve the highest standards straight away. Effective methods can evolve and be adapted further for each group of learners as well as individuals. Having a professional approach and being flexible is very important and I have continued to improve my practice in lessons.
How did your colleagues support you throughout the process?
My colleagues across departments have been extremely helpful in giving their input and I have really enjoyed this part of the process as it encourages me to speak to more of my peers. This aspect of my CPD has been the most effective in helping me to progress my teaching practice.
What do you want to do next and how will you continue to develop your practice?
I will continue to try out new strategies and have already put together a critique resource bank for the department. This idea came up in a discussion with my supporter and was met with approval from other colleagues. This includes a selection of ideas from my research, the benefits of each and suggestions for the suitability of using with different groups of learners, with a section at the end for feedback.
Displays to connect subjects across departments should benefit learners around the whole college. I may also undertake a mentoring course at some point too as I would like to support others in their development.
What advice would you give teachers/trainers who are thinking about undertaking QTLS?
I would encourage everyone to complete the process. It can be completed in a year or more intensively in six months. I can’t really think of a down side to doing it!
For more information about QTLS and to find out how to register, please visit our dedicated QTLS section.