Understanding your own role and responsibilities in Lifelong Learning

Understanding your own role and responsibilities in Lifelong Learning * Explain your role within lifelong learning and summarise key aspects of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice, relating to you and your role. When considering the role of a Lifelong Learning teacher a good place to start is the teaching and learning cycle. There are five stages to the teaching and learning cycle: identifying needs; planning learning; facilitating learning; assessing learning; and evaluating.

My role as a teacher includes identifying needs, which is done through an initial assessment. The typical way to identify needs as an assessor is to ask the learner to fill out a needs assessment form at the start of the course. The form could include anything that would be relevant to the teacher to ensure that there are no barriers to learning and that the learner has equal access to learning. For example, information on the learner’s previous educational achievements, current learning level, functional skills tests, any disabilities, or any specific needs (such as availability) should be gathered during the identifying needs stage.

From the initial assessment, the teacher can identify each learners needs and ensure that these are incorporated into the planning stage of the cycle. The planning stage includes ensuring the health and safety of learners by carrying out a risk assessment and completing appropriate schemes of work and lessons plans, including any allowances for learner needs identified in the initial assessment. Lesson plans must also include aims and objectives and activities and assessments that will ensure these are met.

Having sound plans in place ensure that the teacher is well prepared with all of the necessary equipment and resources required to meet learner needs. A good teacher will continually return to their plan, adjusting it to meet the needs of learners as they progress through the course. With a thorough plan, facilitating learning will be a much easier task for the teacher. It’s the teacher’s role to ensure that they treat each learner equally and fairly. The teacher must also ensure that learners treat each other with respect – ice breakers and ground rules help to address and challenge any inappropriate behaviour. A good teacher will facilitate learning using a variety of approaches and resources to meet the planned aims and objectives and learner needs. The teacher should also embed functional skills in the lesson. A vital role of the teacher is to assess whether learning has taken place. This should be done at the end of the course (summative) and periodically throughout each stage or lesson (formative).

The teacher uses assessment to check that the planned aims and objectives have been met. Assessment activities can include observation, assignments, question and answer, and witness testimony. If learning has not taken place, the teacher must revisit the objective either individually or as a group. It’s a good idea to have ‘plan b’ activities prepared to try a different approach, just in case learning doesn’t take place the first time around.

When the course is over, it’s the teacher’s role to gain feedback from the learners in order to reflect on and evaluate their teaching methods, approaches, and resources. The teacher should make changes and improvements where necessary. Another important aspect of the teacher’s role is ensuring that they adhere to legislative requirements (law) and any codes of practice that might have been set by an awarding body or their employer.

The key pieces of legislation and codes of practice that apply to my role include: * Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) – risk assessment * The Data Protection Act (2003) – safe storage and use of data to protect learner from any security breaches * Every Child Matters (ECM) – lesson plans should indicate opportunities where the five outcomes can be met * The Human Right Act (1998) – need to consider issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion * Safeguarding – have a duty to report any action that could cause serious harm to a learner or another person * Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) (1995) – need to consider issues of equality.

Awarding body and employer codes of practice, policies, and procedures * Explain how you would identify and meet the needs of your learners whilst promoting equality and valuing diversity within your role I would identify the needs of my learners by using an initial assessment. I would take any needs identified in the initial assessment into account when planning learning to include a range of activities to meet differing levels, a range of approaches and resources to meet different learning styles, and taking into consideration any learner disabilities or potential challenges. In order to promote inclusion in the classroom I would ensure that I treat all learners equally by not favouring learners or identifying any disabilities or protected characteristics in front of other learners. I would value diversity by drawing on each leaner’s experiences to contribute to rich and varied group discussions. For example, a quick initial assessment to see if any learners have prior knowledge will enable me to draw on their experiences to help their peers. 2. Understanding relationships between teachers/trainers and other professionals in Lifelong Learning.

Explain the boundaries between the teaching role and other professional roles and summarise your own responsibilities in relation to other professionals The teacher must understand where their role (in cases where they are not qualified to support the learner), their own limitations, and when to refer a learner to another qualified professional. In relation to other professionals, it is my responsibility to know who to refer the learner to or where I can find appropriate information for the learner, I must observe learner confidentiality at all times and only personally refer the learner to other professionals nominated under codes of practice (otherwise I must direct the learner to the source of help), I have a responsibility to report safeguarding issues to the police or another qualified professional, and I must observe data protection legislation at all times when referring learners.

I also need to cooperate and communicate effectively with other professionals to ensure that the learner’s needs are met. * Describe the points of referral you may use to meet the learner’s needs Support teachers within the institution – many colleges have support teachers who would be able to assist learners with dyslexia or with language issues that are creating barriers to learning. I would be able to directly refer the learner to a support teacher if I thought that it would aid learning. Citizens Advice Bureau – learners often experience barriers to learning and motivation if they have legal or financial stresses in their personal life, which will need to be overcome if learning is to take place.

The Citizens Advice Bureau offers free legal advice on financial and other issues. I would not be able to directly refer the learner to the Citizens Advice Bureau, but it is my responsibility to hold contact information or know where it can be sought. Childcare providers – again, a learner with childcare issues may experience barriers to learning. I would not directly refer the learner to a childcare provider (unless they were within a college or educational institution) but I have a responsibility to advise the learner on where they can find access to child care advice and guidance. 3. Understanding own responsibility for maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment.

Explain how you are responsible for maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment within your role and ways that you would promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others To provide a safe supportive environment, the teacher must ensure that the learners’ needs are met in line with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The teacher must ensure that they can meet the learners’ basic needs of food, water, breaks, and hygienic toilet facilities. Then they must address the safety of the learning environment by carrying out a risk assessment. Part of the planning stage, the risk assessment should be completed for every course or lesson in line with Health and Safety at work Act (1974) (HASAWA) requirements and continually reviewed and updated (along with any safe work method statements).

The teacher must know how to complete a dynamic risk assessment in case resources or the environment changes after they have completed the initial risk assessment. Facilitating icebreakers is an important part of the teacher role in order to create and maintain a supportive environment where learners feel a sense of belonging. Ground rules are also an important part of respecting each other and underpin appropriate behaviour. Finally, assessment and feedback will help to increase learner confidence and responsibility for learning to help learners achieve their ultimate goals. Word count: 1294 (not including questions) Bibliography Gravells, A.