Online Course - Module #6:  Professional Issues

Introduction

Literacy practitioners who work in the field of adult education know that there’s a lot more to job satisfaction and overall success besides the ability to develop a good program and deliver effective training. There are other important skills, knowledge and behaviours that make a difference to achievements as a literacy practitioner and quality of life day-to-day at work. Professional Issues for LBS Practitioners explores four separate and distinct areas of common interest that were identified by professionals who work in Literacy and Basic Skills programs across Ontario. Although much of the training focuses on work within a classroom environment, the ideas and principles are applicable for LBS practitioners in any setting.

Practitioners have been asking about the additional skills you need for working efficiently and effectively with groups of learners in a classroom setting and for working effectively with other colleagues in the workplace. They want some discussion around meeting various expectations as an employee and some help in goal-setting as professionals who are committed to lifelong learning. In response to those interests, this training looks at principles of classroom management, administrative responsibilities, collaborative relationships in the workplace and ongoing professional growth. The goal is to give instructors insights and ideas for improving their way of working in order to bring them greater success and satisfaction at the end of the day.


About this Course

This course will give LBS instructors insights and ideas for improving their way of working in order to bring about greater professional success and personal sense of wellbeing at the end of the day. Practitioners can examine their current methods of program management as well as their relationships with colleagues at work and learn how to make their experience of work more satisfying and more productive. Specifically, it includes: strategies that increase efficiency and productivity in a classroom environment; strategies for preventing and responding to difficult learner behaviour; greater awareness of the workplace culture - i.e. written and unwritten expectations for the job; ideas for fostering good relationships in the workplace; and a concrete plan for personal and professional development over the next ten months.

The course is organized into four units of study. You will find main course notes, links to additional readings and online resources, and opportunities to pause for self-reflection. Guided reflection through questions and journaling will help you focus on the impact these materials have on your own thinking, and what implications follow for day-to-day practice.
 

Course Description 

“Effectiveness”, “Efficiency” and “Customer Satisfaction” are the key terms used to describe quality in adult literacy programs. The assumption is that practitioners who combine effective methods with efficient processes provide the best programs and achieve the best results, i.e. learners who are making progress and are happy with their experience in LBS. This course is organized into four units of study which you can find outlined in the Table of Contents. It looks at areas of the literacy practitioner’s work for the purpose of bringing to light a number of skills and knowledge that contribute to greater effectiveness and efficiency. While we will by no means exhaust the subject, we will give some attention to four areas that many practitioners have found difficult. 
 

Objectives and Outcomes

Generally speaking, when LBS practitioners add efficiency to effectiveness, they accomplish more, learners achieve more, and practitioners experience a greater sense of satisfaction in their work. When they follow principles of good practice when working with colleagues, they get better results. This training will help practitioners examine their current methods of management as well as their relationships with other people at work in order to find ways that will make their experience of work more satisfying and more productive. Upon completing this course, you can expect to be able to demonstrate:

  • strategies that increase efficiency and productivity in the classroom
  • strategies for preventing and responding to difficult behaviour from learners
  • greater awareness of both written and unwritten expectations at work
  • ways that promote good relationships in the workplace
  • a concrete plan for personal and professional development for the next 10 months..
     

We are ready to begin!

Professional development can be guided by leaders, tied to standards and learning goals, built around...improvement plans, but, ultimately, the engine that drives it all, is each individual's commitment to self-reflection and self-improvement.

~Journal of Staff Development Spring 2002


Instructions

An important part of this training involves stopping at various points throughout to reflect upon what you have read and to consider what implications there may be for your work and practice. We suggest you keep a journal for this purpose. You could either 1) keep a notebook handy or 2) create a Word file and keep it open on your toolbar for easy access. As you come across each Journal Reflection in the Course Notes and Readings, take some time to respond to the prompt questions, write down any new ideas, or pose a few questions of your own. If you are working with a mentor, your journal entries might lead to some interesting dialogue!

 

Proceed to Table of Contents