Thursday, 22 December 2011

Changes keep changing...and then off to market

It's that time of year again when at work we have our staff development days.

Monday 19th December started off with a speech from our principal thanking us for all our hard work for the previous term and encouraging us not to lose heart as the government makes its chops and changes.We then listened to a keynote speech delivered by Professor Bill Lucas entitled: Making more even in challenging times. My colleague, Rachel Preece expands on this in her blog so I won't go into too much detail, albeit to say I found it interesting and I could immediately recognise some of the reactions to change that people can have. I think I manage change pretty well but to do so I have to take some semblance of control over it rather than it be something that is done to me - not always easy or realistic but worth trying. I'm also beginning to learn when to pick my fights and when to roll over! Bill emphasised that we should also take time to process too and this is something I am guilty of not doing. I have achieved some things in my life which I should be proud of as they took time, effort and an ability to overcome some quite serious obstacles but instead of celebrating these achievements I just move right on to the next thing. I really want to change this as it will only lead to stress and dissatisfaction. Lastly, I liked his presentation style. Despite being in a theatre with rather a large amount of people, he managed to include interactivity without it descending into a shambles - something I'm always interested in seeing how other people do.

The rest of the team then split up and went to various training sessions whereupon I was left to don a stall at the 'Marketplace'. For the last couple of years at my workplace, on staff development day, a Learning Exchange or Marketplace takes place. At this Learning Exchange a few dedicated teachers (Learning Coaches)  who are passionate about improving teaching and learning share their knowledge, tips and tricks with everybody who cares to walk past their stall. This year, I was asked to take part. I was a little apprehensive at first as I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, however, it turned out my old background in 'assisted sales' would prove useful.

Attending this event helped to raise awareness of the Learning Resources Centre across college as our name was on all the marketing material which was circulated. It also raised awareness amongst all the members of teaching staff who came to visit us. They were interested to know what we could offer and were occasionally surprised at the range of resources on offer.

It was a very good opportunity to raise awareness of what we do and what we can offer not only to the majority of the academic staff who passed the stall but also to the Learning Coaches who will pass on their enthusiasm to others. It also gave me the opportunity to put a few faces to names and meet people who I don't regularly come into contact with.

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