Roles, responsibilities and relationships in lifelong learning

Within your role and responsibility as a member of teaching staff you will be expected to follow what is referred to as a Code of Professional Practice (2008). This outlines the key aspects of teaching legislation and the regulatory requirements. It is your duty to maintain professional integrity and uphold the reputation of the professional institute. Identifying the needs of both the institute and of the learners is fundamental. Your scheme of work will demonstrate the integrity and reputation of the institute you represent, whilst also facilitating the needs of the learners.

Therefore, it is your responsibility as a member of our teaching staff to meet the professional requirements valued by the institute, and to be accountable for the scheme of work that you teach to the learners. It is your responsibility to behave in a professional manner that does not damage the reputation of the institute. Utilising your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, it is also your responsibility to keep up to date with any new developments within your specialist subject (Specific Legislation), and new teaching practises via the IFL (Generic Legislation).

Some key aspects of generic legislation are: Code of Professional Practice (2008) this code was developed by the Institute for Learning (IfL) and covers aspects of: • professional integrity • respect • reasonable care • professional practice • disclosure • responsibility. Children Act (2004) Every Child Matters provided the legal requirements for five key aspects: • be healthy • stay safe • enjoy and achieve • make a positive contribution • achieve economic well-being. Equality act (2010)

This brings disability, sex, race and other grounds for discrimination into one legislation. It covers nine key aspects: • age • disability • gender • gender identity • race • religion and belief • sexual orientation • marriage and civil partnership • maternity and pregnancy. Equality in general means that everyone is treated equally and fairly this has been underpinned with appropriate legislation which ensures that this happens both for the teacher and in the learning environment.

Diversity takes this all one step further by ensuring that you value the differences between individuals. For example you may have a mixed group of students with differing levels of ability or experience who are aiming to achieve the same qualification but at a different level, you could set different activities or targets for them in order to gain the qualification. The Equality Act 2010 provides rights for people not to be directly discriminated against or harassed because they have an association with a disabled person or are perceived to be disabled.

Each learner is an individual who should be treated as an equal and with respect regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, race, nationality, age, religion or circumstance. Within the learning environment there should be codes of practice which ensure staff are aware of the law and how to implement it into their job roles. The laws relating to equal opportunities can be developed into an inclusive strategy as shown by Kandola and Fullerton, Equal OpportunitiesDiversity and Inclusion

Concentrates on removing discriminationMaximises learner potential Can be an issue for disadvantaged groupsIs relevant to all learners Relies on positive action by manager and the organisation as a wholeRelies on implementing policies and practices in contest Equality is about the rights of the students to have access to and participate and attend within their chosen learning environment. Inclusive learning is about involving all students, treating them equally and fairly.

Some students could feel excluded during the session if their particular needs were not met. Therefore through initial assessment or the induction process any needs could be identified. As a teacher you should try to promote a positive culture of equality of opportunity within the sessions whereby all students can attend, participate and feel safe and valued. My roles and responsibilities in lifelong learning are primarily to have teaching and learning strategies which are appropriate to your specialist area.

The first time you meet your learners they will subconsciously make assumptions about you, and it is through your behaviour, verbal (and non-verbal) communication, i. e. body language, that you will correct these assumptions. It is important that you do not make any judgements or assumptions. You must remember to be aware of your gestures, facial expressions etc, as your learners will pick up on these characteristics. Communication is key and most importantly, it is your personality and passion for your subject that will inspire your learners.

As learners enter in to the classroom they will look at their surroundings, at the teacher and at each other. To ensure this has a positive effect on the learner you should: •Be on time •Smile •Be welcoming •Look clean and presentable •Be prepared •Look calm and organised and confident •Ensure the room is prepared for the learners •Friendly introductions. The teaching and learning cycle is so called as it can begin at any stage and keep on going. The role of a teacher will usually follow, •Identifying

needs – finding out what your organisations, your own and potential students needs are, carrying out initial assessments and agreeing individual learning plans •Planning learning – preparing a scheme of work, session plans and teaching and learning materials to ensure you cover the requirements of the syllabus •Facilitating learning – teaching and facilitating learning using a variety of approaches •Assessing learning – checking your students have gained the necessary skills and knowledge •Quality assurance and evaluation – obtaining feedback from others, evaluating yourself and the programme in order to make improvements for the future.

Students need to know why it is important for them to learn, what they are going to learn and how they will do this. One way to make sure your learners have a positive learning experience is to analyse how learners learn. A teacher who understands what helps a learner learn is a better teacher as they recognise the differences are prepared to alter their teaching to suit those differences this is called differentiation. Kolb proposed a four stage experiential learning cycle by which people understand their experiences and as a result modify their behaviour.

Honey and Mumford based their analysis on how people learn on Kolb’s learning cycle. They advocate that people either learn best by either doing something (activist), by thinking back on something (reflector), by investigating ideas and concepts (theorist) or by finding relevance or association (pragmatist). Students should be motivated to learn as their keenness to learn will affect their attention and learning ability. Maslow introduced a Hierarchy of needs in 1954, he felt that objects should be removed that prevent a person from achieving their goals.

He argued that there are five needs which represent different levels of motivation which must be met. When students satisfy their needs at one level they should be able to progress to the next. To help student’s motivation you should ensure that the learning environment you create meets your students first level needs. You should try to have a purposeful learning environment where your students feel safe, secure, confident and valued. Teaching and learning strategies will vary according to what you want to get out of the session, the time allowed and what materials and resources are available.

In order to ensure that you are meeting individual’s needs you will have to understand learning strategies. These are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic (VAK) learning styles, designed by Honey and Mumford, and based on a theory first established by David Kolb. Honey and Mumford designed a Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) which helps identify learning needs. Examples of Visual learning techniques, use cards, posters, prompt sheets, display tasks on boards, supplement verbal exposition with pictures and diagrams etc.

Auditory learning techniques, talk through ideas, ask questions and listen to learners. Kinaesthetic learning techniques, use breaks to get learners moving, locate different activities in different parts of the room, use role play or practical activities etc. You may encounter learners that have a higher sensitivity to kinaesthetic learning, than either visual or auditory. The LSQ is recommended if you are to successfully identify the learning needs of your students, and design a scheme of work that differentiates each individual effectively.

Within the learning environment it is important to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others. Setting ‘ground rules’ is a highly effective method. If you include everyone from the beginning in setting the ground rules (via an ‘icebreaker’) they will feel more involved and will be more likely to adhere to them. For example, if you simply told your learners how to behave they may oppose it. If however you initiate an open discussion, your conclusive material will be more effective as the learners will take ownership of the rules they have set.

At the forefront of every session should be a beginning, a middle and an end, this structure will ensure that you have an organised approach to teaching and learning. This will help to organise the learners and also help with classroom atmosphere. An initial or diagnostic assessment is a formal way of ascertaining you student’s prior skills or knowledge of the subject to be taken and whether they have any specific needs. Diagnostic tests can also be taken to diagnose information with regards to literacy, language and computer skills.

The information gained from these can help to plan sessions to meet any individual needs or to arrange further training or support if necessary. Initial assessment will allow for, •Differentiation and individual requirements to be met •Ensure students are on the right programme level •Ensure the student knows what is expected of them •Identify an appropriate pace at which each student will progress. •Identify any information which needs to be shared with colleagues •Identify additional support needs •Identify learning styles •Identify transferable skills

The results can help with individual learning plans (ILP’s) or action plans with your students, ensuring they are on the right level. Within the learning environment you will have professional boundaries within which to work and it is important not to overstep these by becoming too personal with your students. Boundaries are about knowing where your role as a teacher stops and working effectively within the limits of that role. You need to be in control, fair and ethical with all your students and not show any favouritism towards any particular students, for example by giving one student more support than the others.

You may not want to take your break with students or join their social networking sites as you could overstep the mark into being a friend rather than a teacher. Boundaries could also be constraints of your teaching job, for example, the amount of paperwork you need to complete or lack of funding or resources. Other professionals with whom you may need to liaise with are other professionals. These could be other teachers, support workers, administration staff etc. You may also need to liaise with other people such as parents, guardians, inspectors and visitors.

You should always remain professional when in contact with others and not overstep the boundary of your role. When you attend meetings or professional events you must act professionally at all times. Some students may have needs, barriers or challenges to learning that may affect their attendance or achievements. Knowing the boundaries of the teacher’s role is essential to an effective learning environment. The interests of the learner is most important and as a teacher we would like to help but are we really the most effective person for the learner to consult.

The Behaviour Code 3 of the IfL Code of Professional Practice states: “Members shall take reasonable care to ensure the safety and welfare of learners and comply with relevant statutory provisions to support their wellbeing and development. ” Your students may trust you and tell you something confidential, however you may need to pass this information on to more experienced people, particularly if your student is vulnerable and or in need of expert help. You may encounter students with varying degrees of needs, therefore you should remain impartial but sensitive.

Although you may think you can deal with some of these needs it may be better to seek help or advice or refer your student to someone who can help. You should always refer your students to an appropriate specialist or agency if you can’t deal with their needs. Never feel you have to solve your student’s problems yourself and do not get personally involved. You could find out what is available internally within the organisation or where you can refer them externally. Records must be maintained, not only to support the teaching and learning process but also for inspectors, auditor’s verifiers and external quality assurers.

The information contained in records helps to measure learning and the effectiveness and appropriateness of the programme overall. Information such as attendance, progress or achievement could be shared with colleagues. If accurate records are not maintained your student’s progress could become unstructured and their achievements may not be documented. Records must be up to date, accurate and legible. Records can be useful for your organisation for accidents, appeals, equal opportunities and funding purposes. Records should be kept confidential and secure at you organisation.

The Data Protection Act 2003 is mandatory for all organisations that hold data. As a teacher you must work within the boundaries of the law and professional values. There are many laws, directives and professional ethics which are updated often. The main Acts and rules which we should refer to are, Health and Safety at work Act 1974 – which states that everyone has a responsibility for the safety of themselves and others. Therefore rules must be followed and safe practices adhered to. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – this legislation seeks to prevent unsafe practices and minimise risk, e.

g fire and emergency procedures, first aid at work and safe handling practices. Risk Assessment – All activities have an element of risk, it is the teacher’s responsibility to assess the level of the risk and establish practices to minimise risk and record such activities. Child Protection Guidelines – Eg Crb checks (criminal record bureau). Keeping records is a fundamental part of the teacher’s role, this can be kept on paper or electronically. The documents are required for, auditing purposes, information gathering, Quality assurance systems, health and safety management and financial accountability.

Although paperwork is time consuming it must be completed regularly and accurately. Other departments may need to refer to your paperwork, claim funding or allocate appropriate support for learners. Communication is the key to encouraging student motivation and respect, managing behaviour and disruption and becoming a successful teacher. It should always be appropriate and effective and to the level of your students. If there is a disruption you need to handle this professionally to minimise any effect it may have on teaching and learning. This behaviour must be addressed immediately and not ignored.

Good behaviour and motivation can be maintained by keeping sessions active and teaching your subject in an interesting and challenging way. Behaviour patterns could highlight the need for additional support as disruption could be a way of asking for help. You should lead by example and always be polite, show respect and say please and thank you, this will help encourage this respectful behaviour in your students. Within the learning environment you should also promote respect between students by encouraging trust, honesty, politeness and consideration.