The Year of Disruption
January-March: Ran Psychology Topics #1: Romantic Relationships, Mental Health evening classes at both Shipley College and Rossett. However, the courses were terminated prematurely at week 8 due to schools and colleges being closed in measures to limit the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping through the UK (and much of the rest of the world).
Commentary: Both programmes had been hugely successful, with classes large in size and gelling very well. There was a real sense of disappointment amongst participants – though everybody recognised the necessity of the closures.
In January I was observed for one of the sessions and again rated ‘Outstanding’ (or the equivalent of it under the updated policy). (Excerpts from the observer’s report are included in the Learner Perspectives pages.)
Gallery: Shipley College participants, March (All photos: Joan Russell/Shipley College ) – click on photo to enlarge.
March: Lost almost all of my Year 13 tuition students as the Government scrapped A-Levels this year and most of my Year 12s were reluctant to have tuition via Skype.
Commentary: The academic year had been pretty busy with tutees, right from September. The Government’s decision to scrap students having to sit A-Levels meant there was no need for them to continue to have tuition with me. The ‘social distancing’ required in response to the Coronavirus meant I had to move tuition from one-to-one to Skype. However, only one of my Year 12s was comfortable working online.
April: Decided to drop offering Sociology A-Level tuition
Commentary: In all my years of tutoring, there had never been anything like as much demand for Sociology tuition as there had been for Psychology tuition. In the academic year beginning in September 2019, I had had one tutee studying both Psychology and Sociology and none taking Sociology without Psychology. Accordingly, it made sense to focus my efforts as a tutor just on Psychology and increase my expertise in that discipline.
June: Ran a Zoom webinar Human Development & Spiral Dynamics, for the Advancing Education in Muslim Societies (AEMS) initiative of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).
Commentary: In May I was approached by Ilham Nasser, head of AEMS, to run this webinar. AEMS had used Spiral Dynamics as a modelling tool for their Mapping the Terrrain survey and report in 2019 and wanted an ‘expert’ to be able to explain the concept in some greater depth.
In all 43 people took part in the webinar. Feedback was very good but I found it hard work, talking to a blank screen – other than Ilham! In the last 15 minutes Ilham filtered participant’s questions in a Q&A session.
The presentation and part of the Q&A session are below.
The excerpt below is from Shipley College Star #50 which ran a short piece on the webinar.