Just wanted to let you know that I submitted the following for the Student(s) in a Million Award
A nation-wide hunt to find and reward the most inspiring students of 2012
I love this cohort, every single student and all of them together! Anne, Ben, Carena, Carlo, Cheryl, Craig, Rania, Gemma, Jason, Jialiang, Jon, Kevin, Liz, Mohan, Oliver, Philip, Becci, Rosie, Sarah and Stanko! These students embraced creativity and innovation, threw themselves into the unknown, took risks, experimented actively and made valuable discoveries during their learning journey which in many cases lead to a shift in thinking, a shift in behaviours, a shift in beliefs and practices. The changes are fundamental and the impact massive! I will put this into context so that you understand.
My name is Chrissi (Nerantzi) and I am the programme leader of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) at the University of Salford, which is offered to all academics and other professionals who support learning at the university. So all our students who join the programme to develop as teachers in Higher Education (HE) and gain a recognised teaching qualification in HE are actually teachers. Who says teachers are only teachers? We teachers need to model learning –we need to practise what we preach! Learning is not an embarrassment, and being a student is definitely something to be proud of. This group of students who are also teachers inspired me to continue my mission and made me proud, many times during the module. I can’t wait to hear their next success stories.
My nomination for the one in a million is for all my students on cohort 4 who recently completed the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LTHE) module of the PGCAP programme. The whole group showed real commitment to learning, overcame struggles with the theory, battled with the technology, confronted creativity and most importantly, through their engagement, they proved that they truly cared about their own students. They were keen to be experimental, keen to be creative, keen to provide rich and stimulating learning experiences to their students – and they did it all really well!!! My students had a lot of fun learning, played games, and immersed themselves into less common learning and teaching approaches. We were a learning community and developed trust. The students stuck together and they supported each other. They learned with and from each other. Cross-disciplinary partnerships and collaborations were formed. Sharing of ideas and good practice happened organically. These students broke out of their silos, practised thinking and teaching outside-the-box and recognised the value in connecting with colleagues from other disciplines and professional areas. These students have become proper innovators for life! Developing and growing progressively before my eyes. I witnessed it through observing them teaching, through learning conversations we had in and outside the classroom, through their reflections in their electronic portfolios and research they carried out. I can’t stop smiling writing all these wonderful things about my students and feel so proud about what they have achieved.
This group of PGCAP students is a real inspiration for future students on the programme but also for their own students and all students and they deserve a formal recognition from the wider learning community for all their hard, innovative and inspirational work. These students are also an inspiration for me! They gave me the confidence to believe that teacher education can make a real difference, especially if we challenge our own habits and beliefs, if we have an open mind and are willing to take risks and actively experiment.
These teachers who are students on the PGCAP programme drive change and have the will, the commitment and the creative energy to transform learning and teaching in their classrooms into stimulating and valuable experiences. Voting for my students means voting for all students who deserve excellent teachers. My students are definitely one in a million!
Snippets from their journey can be found at
Cohort 4 in pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/pgcap/sets/72157628530194147/
Embracing creative teaching http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL17749761E4EC93D7
Embracing peer observations http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8BEB736FAAFFC5D0
Embracing the value of the eportfolio http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8E02FDA6C2E47A2D
Embacing the professional discussion http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9AA3BD8E7263D435
Gemma’s portfolio at http://gemmalace.wordpress.com/
Becci’s portfolio at http://rebeccajacksonpgcap.wordpress.com/
Cheryl’s portfolio at http://cherylspgcap.wordpress.com/