Well my page is done and as long as Catina is happy with it, that will be my last action for this phase of TeachDifferent: The Diversity Programme. Who knows where this work will take us?
I came back to work in September last year after three years jugging caring, grieving, working, running a charity and being a single parent. I needed some focus but I was jaded and a bit bored, didn't want the graft without the excitement. Thanks to EDIFdefinition (and Catina, and all of you) this has been my most exciting year at work, I have loved it.
What the funding has done is given me a voice and a platform, to develop ideas that were forming during all those years sitting at the bedside of poorly parents. I've got braver with each day, to express my ambition - if I'm going to change education this is the moment and I'm giving it my best shot. And it's brought me in touch with others who have inspired and challenged me, some of whom I hope will go forward with me as comrades and friends.
That's why project funding matters - because of the way in which it can regenerate us, push us out of comfortable spaces, give us a platform to take risks and make mistakes. I started to write Au Revior at the top of this blog, in the hope of seeing some of you again, but I've changed it to A Bientot - if my schoolgirl French isn't letting me down - until next time.
The final version of our film has been really well-received by the people who have seen it so far. I think the direct personal accounts from our trans participants really brought it to life and made it more effective.
The final version is six minutes long, which is longer than we originally intended but it seemed like the minimum length we could get away to include what we feel we needed to. We thought it would be a shame to have to lose any of it, and anyway six minutes is still short enough that it can easily be incorporated into meetings/staff training etc without people getting bored. We followed a general pattern which we hope people feel flows logically, where we state some facts and figures, talk about what kinds of things go wrong, then what people have got right and end with the what recommendations can be drawn from all this; some very simple guidance for what to do and what not to do when dealing with trans people.
One of the questions I received at the conference in Newcastle the other week was along the lines of "okay that's all very well but how do we actually go about carrying out the recommendations" which is a good point. Well, first of all there is a little bit more detail in the executive summary than appears in the recommendations at the end of the film, but I think to a large extent this is a topic for future research. Further research could take a similar qualitative, interview approach to explore, for example, what would make a trans person feel that they were "actively welcomed" at a particular location or institution.
All set for the event on Wednesday.
We will enjoy the opportunity to talk to people from other projects and to celebrate our successes.
Our learners ,Byron and Margie , are looking forward to sharing their experiences of the Equal People Derby project but would also like to have time to look around the gardens as they sound lovely.
So -despite the horrid early start - we intend to have a great day!
See you there.
I attended last week's event in Stratford as a member of the project development team at Ambitious about Autism. We've been busy creating a training resource for mainstream vocational staff in post-16 education, who regularly teach learners with autism on their courses.
It was really encouraging to see the diversity of interest in the resource. During the course of the day, we demonstrated the resource to employers, teaching staff, managers and learners.
You'll be able to find us at the next event in Enfield, London later this week, where we'll be joined by a colleague from Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.
We intend to upload the developed resource to this website shortly.
4 films about Apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities and employers by Newcastle City Learning and The Twisting Ducks Theatre Company.
We had a good day at the Stratford event and enjoyed the experience.
One of our learners, Kerry, joined us and talked to the "audience" very enthusiastically about how the project has affected her . She explained that the work placement particularly has changed both her own view of herself and her ablities but also other peoples in a very positive way . Her highlights included watching the live Theatre performance and also the Work for All video which she felt she could really relate to .
I found having time to talk to other project members about their work to be really interesting and useful - in fact more time to do this would have been appreciated so looking forward to chatting to different people next week.
And I had never taken part in a discussion with live tweets included before - so yet another " first!"
Learners Byron and Margie will be joining us for the next event. They are feeling positive and keen to talk about their involvement with the project so should be another good day with new experiences and new learning opportunities. Please come over to talk to us when you have the time - and take part in our "outweighing the barriers" exercise.
See you Wednesday!
A large group of students are going to London Pride tomorrow. They will all be wearing t-shirts which have been professionally printed with the new promotional poster for the Havering College LGBT Social & Support Group. This poster can be seen as an attachment on the previous blog.
This idea was generated by students and will be a great way of promoting the college as a LGBT friendly place for young people to study and students will also be wearing these t-shirts at future EDIFdefinition Dissemination days to show their work to everyone who attends.
We will add a group photo next week after Pride!
We now have our outcomes from the two Creative Arts Workshop days which we held in January and April 2014:
- One student recorded her original song during the Creative Verse workshop, which you can hear using the attachment link on this page.
- A group of students completed the LGBT History Timeline comic strip during the Computer Graphics workshop, which can be viewed using the attachment link on this page
- One student, along with ideas from the whole group, designed a new promotional poster for Havering College LGBTA Social & Support group, which can be viewed using the attachment link on this page
These outcomes will be utilised to promote Havering College as an LGBT friendly college to prospective students and the wider community, as well as raising awareness of LGBT issues within the college.
Please click this link for work related to this project.
For those unfortunate people who were unable to make it yesterday, perhaps due to the traffic issues in the area, I'm sorry to say, you missed a very special Dissemination Event in Newcastle.
The day was interesting, friendly and most of all extremely thought provoking. It was fantastic to learn more about and actually see the diverse range of projects in action - all rooms looked fantastic and very innovative!
The stars of the day without doubt, had to be the amazing 'Twisting Ducks', their lyrics were so personal and very powerful. We drove home still humming the catchy tunes! Well done guys you were brilliant!
Also congratulations to Newcastle College for your help in setting up and for providing the pefect location for this type of project - what you are doing is inspirational and we could tell by the people attending the classes etc, very much appreciated by the local community. Your warm welome, friendly staff and hospitality and catering were first rate - the pavlova was delicious!
Looking forward to seeing everyone for event 2 in Stratford Upon Avon.
Theresa and Catherine
Yeahhhhhhhhh!!! Our final project film is complete and available to view on our page:
I have to say that I am so relieved that this is finished as last weekm we were having major technical issues and it was touch and go as to whether we would have it ready or not.
Im really happy with it, some of the content isnt what I wanted to focus on but the film ran its own course and for a small part I had to go with the artistic integrity of our marketing team...lol. The project has shifted at times (as I think most of us have found) but I think thats the beauty of projects such as this.
Very excited to see all of your fantastic work on Wednesday, safe journey and see you there!