Roles, Responsibilities, Learning, Development and Assessment in the Life Long Learning Sector

My roles and responsibilities as a teacher include many factors, which I will be going through in this report. As my background is a hairdresser, I am looking to teach in the hairdressing sector. My learners would ideally be 16-19 year olds aspiring hairdressers, although there could be the exception of mature adult learners, so I would need to bare this in mind when teaching to ensure I cater to all individuals. The majority of my learners would also be girls with again maybe the exception of some boys. As my group sector is very narrow, which just a few exceptions, this could be a barrier for those individuals.

For example if there is only 1 boy in a classroom full of girls, he could feel uncomfortable or intimidated. Initially I would need to assess the situation myself, and then ensure in my lesson plan I include methods of inclusive learning. There could be many other barriers that learners could face for example, the environment, confidence, bullying, basic skills, and home problems. So it would be my responsibility to tackle these barriers with solutions immediately, such as setting a clear contract at the start of the lesson, making the environment comfortable for the learners, making it fun and inclusive, and even sign posting.

As I have already mentioned above some group sector issues that I may encounter, there could also be other issues such as pregnancy. In situations like this I would need to offer advice to learners and sign post them to people who could help. I would need to make sure I always safeguard myself and keep to my contract of employment rules. I would need to help where I can, and offer advice, and signpost where I cant. For this I would need to assess individual needs at an early stage so that I can help, and mentor them throughout their training course.

The main aim as a hairdressing teacher is to be able to pass on knowledge through practical and theory learning. There are 3 main learning styles; visual (seeing and reading), auditory (listening and speaking), and kinaesthetic (touching and doing). I believe all 3 are very important in the hairdressing sector. I would need to include all 3 learning styles because we as hairdresser’s need to see exactly what we are dealing with for example, hair colour, hair style, hair conditions. We would also need to listen to our client needs, and offer advice. And finally our role is very practical, so we are always touching hair and doing things.

Overall as I teacher I would need to be able to teach using all 3 styles so that learners can get used to this. However I would need to bare in mind that some learners may learn better using one learning style to another, for example, they might learn better by watching a demonstration rather than having a theory handout. In that case I would offer them more support on the theory side of things. But in general if I use all 3 learning styles I have a better chance to cater for all individuals. As well as learning styles we also have to look at different teaching methods or activities.

These could be things like lectures, group work, presentations, fieldwork, work placements, Q&A and case studies. Within the hairdressing sector what we use quite heavily are work placement, and practical work. This gives the learner a chance to gain some crucial hands-on experience of the working world. In terms of the theory side of hairdressing, we use a lecture styled method where learners can gain information, write notes etc. While using all these methods it is important to have a fun, bubbly and relaxed attitude in which learners can feel comfortable, and it allows their personality to come through.

Getting everyone involved in group activities, gathering everyone around in demonstrations, all this promotes inclusive learning. It is very important for me to promote this behaviour as it demonstrates a level of good characteristics that they would later on need in the hairdressing industry. I would also make the lesson interactive by using various resources; such as you tube clips, live demonstrations, flip charts, and power point, which would all be relevant in its own matter.

For example, the use of power point when going through head and face shapes, or demonstrations when showing hair colouring. Another big responsibility of mine would be dealing with legislations. The Health and safety at work act 1974 and the COSHH act 1989, play a strong role in the hairdressing sector as well as many others. Some of the things that we have to deal with daily are, hazardous chemicals, infections, skin tests, loose objects and wiring hanging around, and hair waste.

I would need to make sure risk avoidance procedures are in place such as wearing gloves when dealing with hazardous chemicals, having barbercide on the salon floor so tools can be cleaned after each client to stop the spreading of infections. As well as doing that, it is also my responsibility to have a risk assessment regularly. This could just be as simple as if I can see hair waste on the floor, I would need to make sure its swept up immediately, or If there is spillage of chemicals, or colour left out in a bowl, I would have to get that cleaned up straight away.

We also have to be aware of The Data protection act 1984 as we have many records that we need to keep. As teachers we always have to keep records in order to keep ourselves backed up. We would need to be able to provide evidence to governing bodies and clients, for when we have audits and even for self-development. Things such as attendance records, progress reports, assessment records and client records are all record keeping and we need to ensure its all backed up and that they are stored away safely, in either something locked up, or password protected.

As we are dealing with client records like name, address, hair history, this also needs to be kept confidential, and only authorised people should be allowed to see this information. The Equality act 2010 is also very important. Equality seems to imply that everyone will be treated the same way, however when dealing with learners with different needs, abilities, backgrounds and so on, from a teachers point of view its all about providing each learner equal opportunity to achieve the goal.

An example of this would be if an individual is struggling with keeping up with a detailed power point presentation maybe because he is dyslexic or visually impaired, in this case as I teacher I would need to make it fair for him by giving out handouts. In order to make sure we are treating learners equally in accordance to their needs and abilities, it is vital to do interim assessments. Such assessments could be things like observation, 121’s, monitoring, and group work. This gives me a better understanding on what learners have achieved and what more they need to learn.

Within my role I would probably use observation the most, as it is a quick and reliable method to use as we do quite a lot of practical work. For example when everyone is doing a practical such as setting the hair I can easily observe them and assess who is doing well, and what learners may need extra help etc. Or when doing an interim assessment on their theory work I could have 121’s and chat about what they have achieved and what more they need to do, I could get feedback from them if they are struggling with any work etc. gain this is a valid and reliable assessment method. Once I have assessed my learner I am then able to adapt to that and work on those areas. For example if I set a task for learners to weave highlights and I can see that they are struggling with sectioning, I might bring everyone around or see them individually and go through how to section accurately. When doing summative assessments in hairdressing, they are again split in two. We have the practical assessments where we use methods such as observation or photographic evidence for their portfolio.

And on the other hand for the theory we have methods such as multiple choice, project work, and problem scenarios. Before we even begin assessing we need to make the methods we use are; fair, valid, reliable, and current. That is why we have different kinds of assessments for practical and theory, because where a photographic evidence might be valid to show that a learner can change a clients hair colour, that may not be valid or reliable to show that the learner understands the colour wheel or mixing of colour.

Between an observation and a photographic I would say an observation is better. The reason is because it ticks all the boxes in terms of it being fair, valid reliable and current, because you can see for yourself whether the learner completed the assessment within the timescale, whether they struggled, or even whether that was all there own work. However the only downside of the observation assessment would be it can be very time consuming, it might cause problems being able to visit salons to assess learners at a work placement.

On the other hand photographic is valid however not very reliable but its advantage is that it is very quick, easy and simple. The other method of assessment we use a lot to understand whether a learner has understood knowledge of colour is by giving them a multiple choice test. This is a fair and valid method, however I wouldn’t say it is very reliable because learners could just take a guess. At the end of each lesson for me it is important to get feedback, evaluate and reflect on the session. I encourage learners to ask any questions, or we may even have a discussion.

We also share good practice for example one learner may have found it easier to do a task a particular way, and by sharing this with others it could help others achieve the same goal. We always reflect on each lesson where I revisit the objectives set at the start of the lesson, this gives the learners and myself a sense of achievement. Some learners may even want to discuss other matters such as development, or other problems that they are facing, so I need to give them that time and advise them, or signpost them to other authorities. Feedback is also valued, so that I myself could perhaps change or improve things in future lessons.

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