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Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships in Lifelong Learning Essay

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I am a Registered Mental Health Nurse working for a private company and was given the opportunity to work as an in-house trainer when the regional trainer left the company last year. It was my responsibility as the trainer to ensure all staff was brought up to date with Mandatory training such as Health & Safety, Moving & Handling, Data Protection, and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults & Children to name a few sessions. So the question had to be asked: What is the role and responsibility of the teacher in the lifelong learning sector?

To find this out I would need to do some research to find the evidence as well as go to college to gain the relevant qualification to support my role as a teacher.

Gravells, A (2012) believes, it is not just about the teaching but also about the learning that takes place; and that it is not just the students who will be learning but also the teacher. The sessions will have to be specific, at a language and stage the students can understand as well as assessing them as we go along to ensure learning has been achieved and at what level before we can move onto further sessions.

Not only that, there will have to be feedback for the students as well as the teacher to assess if anything needs to be done to improve future sessions, as teachers can also learn from constructive criticism; this was something I had not thought about and will have to cope with as not everyone is perfect; Walker, G (10. 6. 2013) goes on to say that having critical feedback can promote good constructive growth in both relationships and the individual. It was at this point I decided to go to college and gain the relevant qualification that would help me gain insight and knowledge to ensure I was doing the teaching sessions correctly.

The Institute for Learning (2008) is an independent professional body for tutors, trainers, teacher’s student teachers in the further education and skills sector who support excellence in professional teachers and trainers practice for learners in worked based learning so this was a good place to start for me to gain knowledge on behaviours expected of my students so that the company I work for, my students and myself and most of all the wider community would benefit.

As part of my Professional Nursing Body NMC Code of Conduct (2008) my first concern would be to treat all individuals with respect and dignity, this also ties in with the Institute for Learning, who have similar codes of professional conduct. I would have to be professional in my role, although I know this is going to be a challenge as some of the people I will be teaching are my friends and I know that boundaries can be challenging at the best of times.

As a teacher I will have professional boundaries to which I need to work within; it is all too easy to get involved with the personal lives especially as I will know my students on personal and professional levels; I will need to stick to the planned sessions and if I need to speak to anyone about their personal lives I will refer them onto their clinical supervisors. But I am sure I will remain professional and show respect to them, then the same will be reciprocated.

I will uphold the reputation of the company, my nursing profession and that of the teaching role to ensure no damage is done. I will take reasonable care to ensure all members of staff who attend training will remain safe and I will protect and promote their health and well-being and help them develop knowledge at their level of learning. It was my role as a trainer to ensure people were first of all motivated to come to the training in the first place and once they were there I had to gain their interest by involving and engaging them in the sessions I was going to teach.

I would need to identify their needs as each member of staff have done different learning schedules and some were more up to date on their mandatory training than others. I would then be able to assess, evaluate and mentor them throughout the days of training. According to Rogers (2001, p. 15) if you are not motivated you cannot and will not learn. She goes on to say, as a tutor, it is my role to keep them motivated by keeping the current flowing; to do this I need to research the information I will be teaching and ensure the students I will be teaching will understand the subject.

Although this is a mandatory requirement of the company and policies and procedures had to be followed and are available both in the staff office and on the intranet of Lighthouse Healthcare for all to read and gain insight in what the company would expect from us as employees. As the trainer I would have a list of all the staff members personal details, under The Data Protection Act (1998 amended 2003) I would ensure all details are kept secure, relevant, used in accordance with the individual’s rights and kept no longer than necessary; if a member of staff leaves then all records will be archived until such a time it can be shredded.

It would be my responsibility to identify the needs of each member of the group; if there was someone who was disabled or used a wheelchair, or they may be pregnant and could not do some of the techniques taught in some of the sessions such as moving and handling. If so then it was my responsibility under the Equality Act (2010) to ensure I have researched my attendees and provided them with the facilities and sessions appropriate to their needs.

The Health & safety at Work Act (1974) states staff should have a safe working environment, it is the duty of every employer to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, all employees have their welfare, health and safety at the workplace. At this point one member of staff did approach me and stated they found it really hard to work more than 2 days in a row due to their depression, as the training was going to be for 3 days I suggested we did their 3rd day on another set of training days I had planned for the next month.

This made the member of staff happy and we as employers showed we had fulfilled their needs under The Equality Act and the member of staff had not been discriminated due to their illness. I would need to book the appropriate room, ensuring the room is the right temperature and appropriate to the group’s needs. Maslow (1954) believed you must satisfy the lower levels of basic needs before you can progress to the higher levels; therefore, if his theory was to work, if all my students had their basic needs like food and warmth they should progress up the pyramid and achieve fulfilment and learning.

Maslow (1954) ‘The earliest and most widespread version of Maslow’s (1954) hierarchy of needs includes five motivational needs, often depicted as hierachical levels within a pyramid. ’ As well as having the appropriate resources available, with a backup plan should there be any issues. I would need to plan the daily sessions according to the needs of the company training schedule which would need to reflect on the Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) (2013) regulations and what they deem as necessary for mandatory training.

These sessions would be spread over a course of 3 days so that it is not rushed and the needs of the students are thought of; they would need regular breaks to take away any boredom, as mandatory training is not the most exciting of subjects to teach or indeed learn but they are a company requirement that need to be completed yearly in accordance with HIW recommendations. It would also be my responsibility to provide hand outs, that are relevant and researched, at he beginning of the session with pens in case anyone wanted to take notes during the session; then at the end I would hand out evaluation forms to gain feedback on my teaching sessions; what have I learned from this, what went good and what could be improved on. This would then improve the quality of my work ready for future training sessions. Pennington (2008) explains that:

According to Thorndike’s (1911) Law of effect, if the effect is rewarding for the organism, then the behaviour will tend to be reproduced again in the future. If the effect is punishing, the behaviour is not likely to be reproduced in the future. Therefore, I would need to ensure my sessions were interesting for people to learn so they would want to return back to my sessions over the next few days and for any future sessions I will have planned.

If they have enjoyed the first sessions chances are they will enjoy the next ones. First of all I would explain the Health and Safety aspects of the room, what to do should the fire alarms sound and show them where the nearest fire exits were. Then to start the session I would do an ice breaker session as this would help people to relax and relieve any anxieties they may have, it will hopefully break down barriers, give people belonging to the group and help people remember names.

It will promote team work and encourage people to share their interests and common grounds and it will give me some idea of how each person reacts and interacts in a group ready for the sessions I will be teaching. There are many books devoted just for ice breakers sessions but it all depends on what your needs are and who you will be working with but their main aim is to give ideas of how to get your students to work as a group and feel they are fully present; if you are not fully present in a group then you cannot learn. Rogers, J. 2001) I would need to stick to the schedule and not digress as this could delay the day and sessions may get rushed near to the end and important information may not be taken in; therefore the learning needs may not be met which could have a knock on effect putting theory to practice in the workplace. Whilst presenting I would have had to gain the knowledge to present it with confidence. According to Blooms Revised taxonomy Anderson, L. Et al. (2000), I would have to be creative, evaluate, analyse, apply, understand and remember my information teaching for it to work.

Therefore, to be creative, I will need to bring in new ideas and a different way of viewing things should help with my planning. I will be able to evaluate and analyse through observation by doing an evaluation form for the students to complete when their training is finished. I will apply theory to practise with the knowledge I have gained and where I found the sources so the students can gain further knowledge themselves by reading and looking at the relevant websites.

I will finally put my information on paper and powerpoint to ensure I have prompts to remind me and the handouts would reflect the knowledge with an area for the students to take notes to help them remember the information I have taught. The final part of the day would be the quiz I had prepared to see if they had taken in any of the knowledge I had taught over the previous days. My week would not end when the students left the room for the final day of training; I would then have to assess whether they have met the criteria of a pass or whether they would need to be referred back for further training.

This is defined by scoring over 40/50 on the knowledge quiz, which was previously discussed at an executive meeting with the regional training officers at head office. I would also need to add the people who attended training onto the database of attendance to ensure they receive their certificates of attendance, it is also evidence they have attended mandatory training and it would allow them onto the unit to continue with safe practice after gaining knowledge through mandatory training and following the companies Policies and Procedures.

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