I am writing this post to put my feelers out really and find out what folk think so comments and feedback are requested please.
Since finishing an MSc in library and information management I have been considering doing a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCHE) because in my current role in an academic library I do some teaching but I have never had any teacher training. The inspiring speakers at the Librarians as Teachers: The new professionals? event in May 2010 convinced me it was definitely something I should do for many reasons, a few of them being:
- Let’s face it, what we teach is often quite dry. How can I make it more engaging and so become a better teacher?
- Lots of employers are looking for teaching qualifications these days with some seeing them as important as a library studies qualification
- A teaching qualification can garner increased recognition from academic colleagues and in turn raise the libraries profile (hopefully)
- It will give me more scope for varied career progression
Teaching is also one of my favourite and most rewarding parts of the job and I want to be the best I can be at it.
So I applied and have been accepted on the PGCHE course held where I work. I start in September and I am a bit nervous because it is really a course that is geared towards academics who are already teaching and so my librarian colleagues who have done the course before me said they found it really hard to make the course relevant to their practice (this is a major reason why I was in two minds about doing the course initially). I also have to clock up 150 hours of teaching time in a higher education context over the period of the course which is A LOT if you are not running a specific course. I do tonnes of induction courses, some later follow-up sessions on journal searching etc. I train support staff employed to assist disabled students and I do sporadic one-to-one sessions with dissertation and research students throughout the year. So it is a bit…um, well sporadic and so I am going to have to be creative if I want to complete the course Which is where all of you potentially come in!!
I have spoken to a lot of people in a similar position to me and the Librarians as Teachers event sparked a lot of conversation about the subject via Twitter. The event evaluation form asked for ideas of how the conversation could be continued. In response to this I am thinking of setting up a Wiki or something where anyone thinking about doing a similar PG Cert, anyone actually on a teaching course, those who have done the course and would be happy to give us the benefit of their knowledge, and experts in the area (such as the speakers at the event) could share ideas, experiences, and support. I for one would find that incredibly helpful. Even those not doing a course may find this a useful resource if their job involves teaching.
Let me know what you think. There is no point of me setting something up if no one is interested. If you are not particularly interested yourself but know someone who might, please point them in my direction. I suspect that there is a huge network of knowledge and experience out there waiting to be tapped.
I also have never set up anything like a Wiki before so any advice there would be welcome too.
(if there is something already out there and I am reinventing the wheel please enlighten me and I will stand in a corner and face the wall) 😀