Themes for the coming year

At this time of year, themes are beginning to emerge which will inform our work in the coming year. It would seem there are three or four themes which will become more and more important as the year progresses, and these would appear to be as follows:

employer engagement - making sure we work with employers to ensure we are offering the courses and curriculum they want

maintaining and developing professional knowledge and expertise - all of us need to work hard to ensure we maintain our knowledge base, and we will need to ensure we visit both employers and UK colleges to do this.

literacy, numeracy and IT skills - this appears to underpin most of the difficulties students have in trying to be successful, we'll need to make sure we make more progress in developing our own teaching skills in all three of these areas.

This is an exciting agenda, and provides plenty of opportunity to do interesting and stimulating work, indeed work which will make a difference to individuals and the Island as a whole.

Solution Focus Working

At our staff meeting on Friday 27 April we used elements of an approach called SolutionCircle. Of the 31 staff who responded to the evaluation, 27 of you wanted to know more about the Solution Focus working.

There are a number of books which provide insight into Solutions Focus approach. The best starting point is Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow's The Solutions Focus : Making coaching and change simple ( the second edition was only published just before Christmas last year). The oskar model of coaching which is incorporated in the book, has been used in small research project on lecturer effectiveness.

Daniel Meier's book Team Coaching with the SolutionCircle is more designed for work with groups, and has a number of separate elements

Preparing the ground
Expectations and goals
Hot Topics
Future Perfect
Scaling dance
Personal Mission

Certainly, from my own personal experience the solutions focus approach and process has allowed me to focus on solutions, rather then getting too hung up on the 'black cloud' associated with problems.

We intended to do provide opportunities for the academic staff to be trained in the use of the OSKAR model of coaching as part of the College's CPD programme for next term. So watch out for more information.