Personal development: Why I’ve gone back to college
I’ve recently started teaching at our local college. Why? Teaching 16-18 year olds Business Communications for a couple of hours a week has little to do with my day-to-day role at first glance.
But it has got something to do with personal development…
Personal development: Time management
Each week in term-time I spend most of Monday afternoon at college. Work has given their support in that I can take the time out of the office to pursue this, but the rest is down to me.
This means managing my priorities, scheduling meetings around lessons, and not committing to events unless they’re in the academic holidays.
Earlier this year I also worked towards a teaching qualification, which consisted of an evening class a week, assessed ‘mini-teach’ and a portfolio of work.
Talking about this I now feel like I’m back at my first interview for a Saturday job (explaining how multiple GCSE coursework projects helped me manage my time better), but it’s true that balancing work alongside ‘homework’ has helped to develop my time management and prioritising – which naturally strengthens my approach to work here at Hireserve.
Personal development: Confidence
Standing in front of twenty students for the first time is nerve-wracking. But for me, it was the conversations with learners about missing deadlines or behaviour in class that I found most challenging.
Being in a position of some authority in the classroom was difficult to get my head round at first. In my first lesson observation my colleague picked up on the fact that I apologised to students who came into the class late! For the first couple of weeks ‘Hannah being assertive’ felt like play-acting.
Gradually, however, I found myself believing in my position – and this has fed into my day job. I am more comfortable speaking out in meetings, whilst learning to think on my feet in class has helped with the dreaded small talk and conversations at networking events.
Personal development: Building my network
Teaching has started to build a link between our business and the college, which is hugely positive both for us (potential future talent pool) and for the college and learners (increased connections to employers and opportunities in industry).
For me personally, it’s also helped to develop my professional network. Every contact made, whether it’s a hello in the corridor or a connection request on LinkedIn, helps to build relationships that may one day further my career, or allow me to help further someone else’s.
Starting teaching been an incredibly steep learning curve…
On Monday afternoons I swap content creation, social media management and corporate communications for lesson planning, assignment marking and snazzy PowerPoint-ing. I go from Marketing Executive to Sessional Lecturer, and it is hard work.
But I am now thoroughly hooked on education – both for myself and educating others. Aside from the positives it has brought to my professional and personal development, I absolutely love talking to the students, seeing the moment they really understand something, and finding a way to make even the dullest topics a little exciting.
So I would thoroughly recommend learning a new skill or trying something outside of work. It’s shaped me in ways I didn’t expect, which I have then been able to bring back to the day job.
A quick final point about the college…
The college is proactive in building links with employers and seeking people who can share their industry knowledge with learners whilst working towards teaching qualifications.
This is a pragmatic and effective way to strengthen Further Education courses with ‘real world’ experience, and all sessional lectures – like me – are supported by their Departments.
It’s a really practical approach to delivering relevant lessons to prepare learners for the working world, and I am very proud to be involved 🙂
Find out more:
Hireserve goes back to school to enhance employability
Why students are more than an A4 sheet of paper
Why academic collaboration is SO important