Having entered the room we were greated with the Energetic Dr. Tom Burns who introduced himself and the other teaching staff. There was already a relaxed atmosphere in the room as we were arranged in small groups, supplied with chocolates and snacks.
Typically, the members of the MRes all sat together. We were simply told that we had to think of 10 questions we wanted to answered about the course. I could tell that this might not be as dictorial as some science based lectures I was used to, I like black and white, not grey!
My girlfriend, who is stuying an MA in Human Resources and business, had already told me approach is called active blendid learning. Dr. Tom et al left the room, leaving us to discuss the questions we wanted amswering. I will be honest I had read the module booklet so I was already up to date with the assessments and dates, which allowed me to feel smug and enjoy the snacks provided. The session rest of the session was basically split into two parts.
Firstly, we had to create a collage using newspapers and magazines that would best decribe oursleves and our teaching style. You can see mine below. It includes some brief decriptions and images asscoicated with what I do, as well as a nod to my sons.
Second was a group activity in which we were given a persona and had to argue for our own survival in a Nuclear Holycorst. Who out of the group wpuld be chosen to go into the bunker to survive and why.
I can see the logic behind all these activites.
- Lateral thinking
- Breaking the ice
- Expressing oursleves in ways we may not be used to
- Non verbal communication
Being out of formal education for so long I appreciate that techniques have moved on, I am still to determine how much, especailly in my scientific field.
I did think this module will be the toughest for me. With the exception of the members of the MRes course everyone else on the course is employed by the university to be a lecturer, whilst I am paying to be there!!! In my head at least I was suffering a bit from imposter syndrome here! I am not a lecturer. It is a new skill set I have to learn in a short space of time.
After all three activities there was a de-brief. At somepoint, I don’t remember exactly when, but I was sat there feeling a little uncomfortable in my surroundings…still thinking I am inposter, then Dr. Tom said something that hit home, ‘you are all here because you are experts in learning, so you are half way there’ … that got me thinking, about the knowlwdge I already have and the study I have already done, both formally and not so, PG Dip, BSc, BTec, many work experiences shaddowing and learning from some of the best in my industry, AND 15 years expericnce doing what I do… then it dawned on me, I already teach, everyday, every single day! Just in a slightly different setting. In a gym setting,
I pass on knowledge of training princiapls, exercise techniques, nutrtion, biomechanics, physiology, psychology etc. I can be scientific when I need to be and I can speak in laymens terms when required. I also have 2 young boys… Everything with those rascals is a lesson and teaching them is a 24/7 job, (normally about not hurting themsleves but that’s not the point).
My work is usually 1-2-1, and in private, but I know I can communicate with anyone and everyone, I have had a range of clients from different backgrounds: business leaders, polititians, children, professional sports men and women, the elderly, the disabled and chronically ill. I have and do work in different countries, I have given lecturers and workshops to up to 200 people at a time. Despite having to learn theroies of teaching/learning, and jumping through many hoops I have to keep reminding myself that I am not an imposter and I have got this, and telling my future self that you can do this, for Jona and Noah!