I was excited by the opportunity to undertake Advanced Teacher Status and knew it would afford me the time and space needed to reflect and grow as a practitioner. Lincoln College has been my first and only place of professional employment. I have worked at this institution for over 15 years in Lecturing and Advanced Practitioner roles and, more recently, as a Professional Standards Learning Coach. These roles all entail supporting others in coaching and mentoring capacities alongside teaching. ATS was an opportunity to develop my own professional capabilities, and it has hugely developed my self-confidence in my current role.
“Learning support assistants (LSAs) can be an enormous asset to a Further Education (FE) organisation but research tells us that they are not always being used to maximum effect” (ETF, 2018).
The aim of this study was to increase the support provided to new LSAs and to design and implement an LSA specific induction programme with strong links to our current induction framework (known as Launchpad). The intent was to begin bridging the gap between lecturers and LSAs.
The induction process involved mentors, learning coaches, HR and line managers, all working together over the academic year to support and develop the new LSAs. Bespoke support sessions were created for the LSAs as well as opportunities to undertake reflective learning walks.
Eight new LSAs were involved in the pilot study and findings show positive impact through the humanistic support provided by the Learning Coaches and the Mentors.
The pilot was a success, with authorisation given for all new LSAs to be part of our Launchpad Induction process!
The ATS process was challenging but exciting!
There are lots of moving parts involved in building the portfolio and there is a constant flow of work to be undertaken, ranging from observations, mentor meetings, CPD logs and wider reading. There is always something to challenge your thinking and develop your practice.
I have been on a personal journey with the ATS process. As well as upskilling myself and developing my confidence around educational research and the implementation of theory, I have also learned a lot about the way I am as a person, which has been a huge part of the experience.
As a Professional Standards Learning Coach (PSLC), my teaching timetable consists of Initial Teacher Education sessions across varying levels. The rest of my week is spent coaching and mentoring colleagues, leaders and managers. My role has a wide reach and affords me the opportunity to work with a variety of people. I can confidently say that many of the professional developments that I have made have been easily shared with others and have brought about positive change in terms of teaching, learning and assessment.
The ATS process has allowed me the time and space to consciously and deliberately invest time in my own teaching practice. I am able to talk confidently and competently about relevant educational research, implementing theoretical recommendations into my practice and sharing these with teachers just starting their own journeys on our ITE (initial teacher education) programmes.
Stay calm! It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed in the middle. There is a lot of work involved, but the experience is really worth it.
I can’t stop buying and selling clothes on Vinted!