#N4L: Karen F Says…

-part of the N4L Series; celebrating Learning at Work Week-

It’s my great pleasure to introduce Karen Franco…

About Karen

As a teacher, my working day consists of networking with staff, parents, my managers and most importantly my students.  A Venn diagram shows how their interests are sometimes conflicting.

What networked for learning means to me

My meaning is slightly different and I am going to use the example of a sixth form PHSE (Personal & Social Health Education) lesson on positivity.

After discussing the power of positive thinking in groups, we asked the students to think positively about themselves; asking them to consider what could they do to be positive about the different aspects of their life.  In tutor groups, we then asked the students to write a positive statement about everyone in the tutor group.

The girls were pleasantly surprised what other people within the group had written about them.  This will help them to network with each other outside their friendship groups.

We have already seen a difference in the level of mutual support there is across both year groups within sixth form.  We will keep the statements and give them to the girls before exams to increase the positive thinking/ self-esteem vibe.

I think this fits in well with your FISH and POP, especially the proactive bit of networking.  It demonstrates that when you take the trouble to actually get to know others a bit better, in this case outside your friendship group, there is not only support but fresh ideas.

My personal learning insights

In general, people don’t mind being asked to help and they usually get as much or even more out of taking part than those who it is arranged for.

The Notre Dame Careers Fair last February was an example of how networking can hugely contribute to the success of a project.  In order to achieve the goal of having a contributor from most professions, it relies on networking.

Often people are afraid to ask others but I learned that people do not mind being asked and, if it fits in with their calendar and they have the time, they will say yes.

In addition, networking breeds networking, you just have to start the ball rolling!

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