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Embracing the Future

Skills for Life Network

What will happen next is, for all of us at the moment, shrouded in a certain mystery. What we know, though, is that there will be a future and one in which education will play its essential leading role. 

We are delighted to announce the DfE will fund #APConnect for its third year. Expect to hear more news very soon. 

Meanwhile, this is the time for Advanced Practitioners to really strut their stuff! Be ready! Keep networking! And hang on to all you’ve learnt in our wonderful time together!

Finally, we reach out to you in lockdown with these ideas from Lou Mycroft:

Lockdown Learning

Knowing their energy, creativity and growing reputation as the engine room of change in FE, it’s no surprise to see APs in the vanguard of affirmative practice during lockdown. Given that advanced practice is all about building relationships, connecting practice to strategy and using mobile and digital technologies to improve the quality of education*, APs are perfectly placed both to lead virtual learning and learn from it. 

They are exactly the best people to turn to for #LockdownHacks! A call-out on Twitter brought some inspiring suggestions:

Use your skills to help others

Many APs have been on their own digital journey in the past couple of years and the different AP Constellations/Communities of Practice have been remarkably supportive of one other’s learning, using the FAB Digital model to grow confidence and resilience. What a great opportunity this is for APs to act as digital ‘nurses’ to others. @mattgordonWFC is doing as much online teaching as he can and supporting others with Microsoft Teams – but balancing it all by spending as much time as he can in the garden.

Take regular breaks

As the weeks pass it’s easy to get pulled into spending all day looking at the screen. Evidence is growing that online conferencing is more draining than even the normal round of meetings – we have to work so much harder to process non-verbal cues, for example. Limiting screen time is essential. @loumycroft uses the pomodoro technique to take activity breaks down the garden and @cameron_swan wonders why the mess in the house (with two small boys) is growing as fast as the plants in the garden!

Get motivated

Listening to podcasts has never been more popular. @stef_wilkinson says, “…find what resonates with you and I find walking and listening works for me.” Our Google-maestro friend @cloudbusiness9 blasts motivational talks out in his kitchen, driving his family crazy. We can recommend Brene Brown’s new podcast series, Unlocking Us, which began just as lockdown started. Find it via Spotify or your podcast app. Our digital colleague @realtimeedu travels the world online and is continuing her CPD via the @SocietyET InTuition journal (and a sewing course!).

Find your routine

Many of us are following advice to start daily routines – as well as keeping the weekends different. Joe Wicks is popular with many, including our former colleague @julie_g_g Others find sticking to the usual routine is really helpful. @moorideastheme1 gets dressed for work (big shout out for the 3D printing he’s been doing to produce visors for the NHS), as does @jenkteach, who starts the day by tuning into the 7am #JoyFE broadcast on Twitter Live. @TH_laurao puts on perfume! 

We’d love to know how other APs are surviving and thriving during lockdown. Tweet us your suggestions using #APConnect. We have loved connecting with you all and wish you a safe and fulfilled journey into a brave new world!  Best wishes and au revoir!

*The Seven Values of the AP Role (see the APToolkit for more detail).

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