Level 3 Award in Education and Training – Reflective Journal

The following is a blog post I have written about my experience completing the Level 3 Award in Education and Training.

I went in to the Level 3 Award in Education and Training having not studied in a classroom environment since I left university in 2004. I was nervous of what to expect… would I be the eldest by a long way, would I dislike the people in the class or even the tutor? Most importantly, would I have forgotten how to learn when learning to be a teacher – oh the irony!

Things got off to a rotten start. I spent the first 30 minutes sitting in the wrong classroom, twiddling my thumbs but admiring my new Paperchase stationary (so far my favourite thing about the course). Luckily I was rescued by 2 other people who had enrolled on the course and we managed to find the correct room together. It was time to start the award proper.

Week 1 was all about the roles and responsibilities of being a teacher and the relationships you have with other professionals. As I already work for a training and education company I felt confident about this unit. I learnt all about the legislation that ‘governs’ teachers in the lifelong learning environment, how to interact with other professionals and agencies and an in-depth list of the roles that a teacher practices and provides. An important element of this is about safeguarding students and the process and limitations of a teacher’s involvement in this. I was informed that our first assignment would be about this.

I left the first lesson feeling a lot better about the course and was excited to go back in the following weeks.

Over the next few lessons I learnt about inclusive teaching and learning – including but not limited to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Kolb’s Learning Cycle, Resources and Teaching Methods. This was not only useful but thoroughly interesting. Adapting teaching, resources and subject matter to suit your student’s prior learning and psychology is fascinating and leads to mutual success.

Later on in the course I also learnt about group dynamics – another psychological and sociological aspect of learning!

I found the weeks I worked on lesson planning the hardest – there’s so much to remember: environment management, classroom management, aims, objectives, embedding functional skills, inclusivity, equality and diversity etc etc etc. My head was beginning to spin. However, this just shows how the best and most successful lessons start way before the allotted time. Creating a good lesson plan is easily the most important thing I learnt during the award and I will never forget it.

Before I knew it Assignment 1 was handed in, most of the classroom learning was completed and I was starting to think about my Micro Teach. As I have a keen interest in maths and this is the subject I work with my company’s learners around, I felt it was best to base my micro teach on this.

I created a lesson plan. Screwed it up. Wrote another lesson plan. Edited it, chopped bits out, added stuff in, got very stressed but eventually I managed to create something I was happy with. I was incredibly nervous about my micro teach. Standing up in front of your peers (and a video camera!) is never easy. Luckily those fellow students and tutor I was so worried about in week 1 turned about to be lovely and supportive.

I’ve completed the Level 3 Award in Education and Training now. It was very interesting, informative and fun. I would highly recommend it to any would be teachers in the adult learning sector. It takes the skills you already possess and hones them, adds new skills to your repertoire and gives you the confidence to put them in to practice.

I was happy to discover that I hadn’t forgotten how to learn and am thrilled I used that ability to learn how to be a teacher.