Continuing Professional Development
On the ninth of September I completed my first ever teaching session. This Is my reflection of that session and my plan on how I will develop my skills as a teacher to deliver a more professional teaching session. I Initially approached the session organizer by emails to establish what resources are available, the amount of learners attending and any other Information I may need to teach my session.
On reflection, I could have done this over the phone, to be more efficient than sending several mails; I may by having a conversation gained more information about the venue, session, learners or resources available with a conversation. I made my way to the venue on the day but I did not thoroughly check the address and arrived at the wrong venue, I did allow plenty of time so it was not an issue, but something to bear in mind for future sessions. When I started my session, I introduced myself and stated ground rules, based around use of phones, fire drill, leaving the room and so on.
As I was teaching adults, I felt that rules about talking In turn, separate concussions and general order were not required. However at several times during the session, I felt that I had lost control over the session as several small group discussions broke out amongst learners. I am not use to enforcing order amongst adults and I am currently developing methods of keeping control and keeping my learners focused that does not patronize or belittle the group or individuals in it.
Also I need to develop my skills for keeping order that I feel comfortable with in myself, I want to maintain my own dignity, maintain my professional image. So now, I’m using he following to maintain order. “Can we all listen to what John has to say please it’s a really good point”? Or “John can you ask that question to the whole group please? It’s a very important question”. This I have found has focused the group, stopped individual debates breaking out and helped to get back on track. I will develop more techniques in this area . Will ask my more experienced colleagues on my team of training officers for advice on keeping order and keeping my learners focused. I noticed that some learners were more vocal In the session; I was concerned that my session was not Including the less vocal, particularly as I Like to round up my sessions with asking the group questions on what I’ve taught. There is no written exam due to the practical nature of my session objectives. So I’ve made a point of thanking learners when they ask questions for their valuable contributions.
I promote question asking from my learners now, rather than waiting for the learners to ask questions. I observe my learners and If a learner is not contributing in questions and answer sessions, I will ask them a question, without putting them on the spot or intentionally aging them feel uncomfortable, I reward the learner with verbal praise after they have answered the question, I may have to correct them but I try not to do this in a negative way. Timing; still an issue in my sessions but I’m gradually improving this.
So my micro teaching session, I practiced at home, It lasted 30 minutes exactly. I hadn’t considered the amount of questions starting with “What if? ” So my session ran over time and felt rushed. If I taught that session again, I would drop the following subjects. FAST test, heart attack and angina, I would just teach DRAB. And show case The other elements are important but they are theory, my main objectives are teaching practical lifesaving skills. I would have had more time for all learners to partake in the practical elements of the session instead of Just the one learner.
My sessions are still not right and I spend too much time in certain areas, not enough in others so I invited my line manager to watch me teach a session to lectures at Greenwich University last week, she timed each section and told me how long she takes on each session. I now keep her times with me when I teach and ensure I have watch to hand. I also draw debate to an end after the time I have allocated to it. The use of materials; my feedback suggested Powering.
My own previous experience of Powering was when I was trained as a Paramedic, my experience is its boring and lazy on the part of the teacher and on the micro teaching day I watched other learners struggle to get it to work and becoming stressed, I also found some Powering sessions taught that day quite dull as I watched the teachers read out from their presentation from the screen. Also I don’t always teach where I have access to a computer. But I have taken the feedback on board, II have since made two Powering presentations.
With my own personal experience considered, they are simple, bright, colorful, with pictures and Just some bullet points to help my keep my timing and as a reminder of where I am in the session. I email these to the venue several days before the session for the host to load onto a computer, if they have one. I take my own lap top with the Powering presentations pre-loaded. I take a memory stick with the presentations as backup. I have found they make my session easier to teach. However, I do not rely on this and I can teach a session without Powering using a more reliable flowchart, if needed.
I got through my micro teaching session okay; I asked questions at the end and was satisfied my learners had taken away the key points. It was my first ever teaching session and did not know what to expect. I have started teaching now, I constantly reflect and try to improve on my sessions, Eve introduced a feedback form and I encourage learners to email myself or my manager with feedback, I encourage positive and negative feedback. So far it has all been costive from my learner’s perspective, however with feedback from my line manager I’m aware I can still improve.
My manager has signed me off as competent to teach sessions alone so I have no major concerns about my performance; however I strive to improve through reflection to make sure my sessions are inclusive, and run to time and above all make sure my learners meet the objectives which are after all about saving lives. The subject matter I teach is very basic by my standards. I am a State registered Paramedic with an academic qualification with many years of mentoring university student paramedics.
I am also qualified as a Paramedic placement educator. However, I keep myself up to date, with latest clinical practice so I can extract what is relevant to my learners to make sure they are taught best practice. I use The London Ambulance Service clinical audit and research department, The Resuscitation council I-J and The British Heart Foundation as my sources of information. I also attend core skill refresher training sessions when they are available, run by The London Ambulance service INS trust.