In the second of our diary podcast episodes with SET Members Jacqueline Brown and Lynn Baker, we hear how about the great progress they have been making on their Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) journey and why the reflective diary has been such a cathartic experience.
Jacqueline: How are you feeling?
Lynn: Slightly damp, to be fair, because I’ve just been caught in the rain. But other than that, as far as ATS is concerned, I think I'm doing all right, I think. But then I think that and then I look, and then I'm not sure, and then I look, and I think I'm alright.
Jacqueline: What have we been particularly enjoying since we last met?
Lynn: Well, let's just have a look at the last time we met. We had just done the second webinar, hadn't we? We were just sort of starting to get our heads around the platform and all of that sort of stuff. So I feel since then, I think things have been ticking along reasonably nicely. I feel like I've done all my phase one stuff, started with the phase two stuff. I've got my plan in place, my professional development plan, I think, what have you done that?
Jacqueline: Yeah, it took me a while to get my head around the Professional Development Plan. So I think I now feel like it's the Professional Development Plan is what I intend to do in order to develop on those weaknesses from the self assessment and the observation. Whereas the CPD log that comes a bit later, in maybe phase three, is about, okay, so here's all the specific things I did… and I found it quite hard to separate. You know, there's a specific training course on 2 December, and that's what I'm going to do as my plan. It needs to be much more holistic than that. So now I've got my head around it, I feel in a better place. But I tell you something I have really enjoyed is the reflective diary, and I’ve actually rated myself as that's one of the things I do need to improve on is my reflecting. I've only I've only done one so far. But it's the kind of thing that it was with a learner and it was something that had really bothered me. And it was the kind of thing that I'd normally go away and just maybe fester on, but writing the reflective entry really made me think about, you know, my role in this situation and how much influence I had had on my feelings afterwards. And I found it actually quite cathartic to get it all down. It's actually made me think about, if that happened next time, I probably wouldn't, it probably wouldn't have gone the way it went before. So I've really enjoyed that. So I'm quite looking forward to the next one.
Lynn: Well, I'll tell you what I've done with that. I've started I've like pre reflected, because list going of all the things that as they crop up that I'm sort of irritated by, or I think, yeah, that's really good. And then I've sort of got them going in a list. But then, when I go back having reflected on the list, I can see how important it actually was, or not. And actually, some of the things I've written down that at the time seemed like, really critical, I've looked and thought no, no, that that wasn't, but that was, yeah, I feel like I've also got a bit of a truth, because things, you know, they come into your mind, and then they go again, don't they? So, I've got my next one lined up. I haven't written it yet, but I know what it's going to be about. I feel like it will write itself. The only thing that I've struggled with, which is something that I have put in my professional development plan, is the theories. I can reflect so carefully on my own performance and how I'm doing, but when it comes to matching that up to any sort of theoretical basis, I have to do that as a second step. Because that's my, one of my little, sort of; I feel like it's a slight weakness is that I don't name trip theorists. Yeah. I don't know whether I need to, but I feel like I should be able to do that.
Jacqueline: I have the same conversation with my mentor about being able to just recall. Something that I did think was a bit strange in the reflective log, that in order to save it you have to upload a document. And I didn't feel like in all in my reflection, I particularly had something that I wanted to upload. So, I did upload something, but I need to get my head around what is it that we should be uploading. But yeah, that's good.
Lynn: Yeah. So, I'm quite happy with that. I've got my plan sorted. Did you find it difficult sticking to the word limit?
Jacqueline: A little bit? Yes.
Lynn: Yeah, I did as well and I felt like I wrote too much about the first bit and then I left it, but do you know what, I'm sort of thinking that it because it's a plan it can be adapted and changed. I've read somewhere that it's, it's a work in progress, that you can go in and amend and update and change And I'm thinking, I'm just I've just left mine as it is at the moment, feeling that I hadn't and I wasn't 100 per cent satisfied with it. But I think I'm going to it as I go along it will become more refined and defined. So yeah, I think that's tipping along nicely. What about the mentoring, did you do that, because obviously we had the webinar a few days ago?
Jacqueline: Yeah, the webinar reminds me that I must stay on track. Sometimes I feel like the webinar comes around so soon, like, I’ve just got stuck into the content from the webinar before and the next webinar comes, but actually, it’s designed to keep us on track, and it does keep me thinking about, I must remember… because you know, the portfolio, although it's in phases, it's very holistic, you know, we need to be doing all of these things, and pulling it all together. So I have met with my mentee and so I need to now consider the evidence that I'm providing for that, and then write it up.
Lynn: Ah, that's good. I mean, in the webinar, I did enjoy… there were a couple of things I enjoyed about it. One was sort of just meeting up with the other people who were doing it. And in particular, I was in a breakout room with Gary Holden, so, a shout out to Gary Holden, hi, it was nice to chat with you. And I'd like a bit more of that, really. I want to grill people and ask questions about how they're doing. So, I enjoyed that part of it. And then at the very end, we started talking about the theories. And you know, I mentioned before, that's one of the things that I'm not very confident in. So I would like to a little bit more on that. But I did write down lots of names to take away and go and find out. It's good to check in. And, yeah, I do think that they're helpful for reminding me to go and do and do something. And it was good timing, because I've started my mentoring too. And I had a very interesting conversation with somebody, I'm sorry, I can't remember what her name was now, but I asked a question about how do people cope when they are giving too much to the mentee? Because that's my problem, you know, sort of being so keen and so eager. How do you hold back? So I got some really good advice on that. So in that, in that way, it was well timed.
Jacqueline: That's good. Well, I think it sounds like, you know, both of us… last time we spoke, we were both feeling a bit overwhelmed. You know, the portfolio felt huge, and we were finding our feet when actually, to listen to us Lynn, it sounds like we both got a bit more of a handle on what we're doing.
Lynn: I think that I think we're in control, I think yeah, I've got my quality improvement plan, that's tipping along nicely. And my main thing is to make sure that I don't zoom off and do loads of stuff without recording it and writing it down. And I really need to make sure that I do that. Because otherwise I’ll have done loads of stuff and I won't remember it and it will be lost forever.
Jacqueline: You will be wracking your memory for what you did. Absolutely. Yeah, keeping a record of what you're doing as you go; really good tip.
Lynn: Yeah, absolutely. But other than that, my quality improvement plan is sort of taking over and I've actually put the ATS stuff on the back burner for a little while so that I can get that moving and get on with that. So little bit of juggling going on, but manageable at the moment.
Jacqueline: That’s it. brilliant. Oh, good. It's always good to check in. And yeah, I guess until next time Lynn.
Lynn: Right… we’ll have moved mountains by next time. Just imagine what we'll do the next time.
Jacqueline: I know, just imagine. Right. Talk to you soon.
Lynn: Yeah, you too.