I was surprised at how much achievement I felt on gaining my qualification!
It was a challenging journey which opened my eyes to a more reflective practice and allowed me to meet staff from different campuses and roles. I gained the opportunity to develop new ideas to move my practice forward by working towards the UKSPF.
Yes, it was hard work but the experience really made me look closely at what I do and question my practice. I was able to identify and modify some of the bad habits I had slipped into without realising, and improve other parts of my delivery. It also reinvigorated my attitude to teaching in general through being able to discuss common problems and share good practice across disciplines and campuses because we all had a common agenda.
The supported portfolio route was a really good way to undertake this qualification. It helped to unpick and clarify the approaches and requirements I needed to consider; and build a portfolio of evidence I would not have otherwise included. Annamarie was invaluable with her knowledge and in structuring the sessions to do this; and the timing was really helpful with her introductory sessions early in the year and a focussed look at the actual building of the portfolio in the early summer (although I did not make as much use of the early time as I had intended at the beginning).
I have already been polishing the skills in my teaching practice and intend to continue to develop.
I hadn’t written anything like this since my college thesis about 20 years ago so it was going to be a bit out of my comfort zone. That can often be a good thing though, even if one doesn’t always feel like that at the time. I’m also not an IT specialist and don’t spend much time at my desk being workshop based so this made computer time harder to find. I ended up spending a rainy weekend at home working on it in the final stages as it became apparent that this was not a task that could be completed solely during the working day, at least not in my role.
The language and diagrams where hard to penetrate at first but due to a good group of us talking it through and breaking it down, what was required became clearer and more accessible. My colleagues also helped me with the IT side of things, how to place photos in text etc.
I wrote mine as myself from where I stand and in my own language which made it something I could relate to.
The latter stages of compiling the folio expanded work wise with the mapping and index pages etc so I would advise allowing plenty of time for this.
I’m definitely glad I did it and it has made me think differently about what I do and how I do it.
Being a visual person it helped me to make my own diagrams and I enjoyed putting the pictures into my folio, the index and description of their relevance became more material that I could use to map to for my K’s and V’s
I spent several weeks not understanding the meaning of the K’s V’s and A’s on the UKPSF diagram and I feel this held me up.
It’s actually quite simple, so I made the burger bun menu drawing (see below) to show how this would have made more sense to me more quickly, which feeds back to inclusivity and the different ways people learn, which again I incorporated into my folio.
And here are some more of the benefits of applying for HEA recognition from UCA staff who recently gained recognition:
A more positive outcome of my SFEA study was that it inspired me to continue my own learning via the MA Creative Arts Education (and promote it to my team both this year and next)
Exchange with other professionals on the course days (picking up good practice/ideas)
Updating on current policy and best practice
More in depth reflection and review of own practice, strength and weaknesses
Review of current and new literature
Mapping of own practice against generic benchmarks
Just finally getting it done, when I couldn’t make the time in the last 3-4 years
Always good to experience once again what it means to be a ‘student’
Metaphors are a good way of understanding some of the abstract language of the UKPSF
On that note…..here is Sim’s ‘burger bun’ metaphor he mentions above…