We are delighted to announce that Dr Yota Dimitriadi has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by Advance HE (previously the Higher Education Academy).
The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme raises the profile of teaching and learning at a national level, recognising and celebrating individuals who make an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession.
National Teaching Fellows play an ongoing role in enhancing teaching and learning within their institution, the higher education sector and further afield.
As well as working with the next generation of Computer Science teachers, Dr Yota Dimitriadi helps students across Education programmes at theInstitute of Education (IoE) to reflect on the uses of digital technologies to enhance classroom learning and self-care practices.
“I am delighted and humbled to have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. The NTF nomination provided this amazing platform to celebrate collaborations with internal and external learning communities. My heartfelt thank you to the University for offering me this unique opportunity to share my story and to all, students and colleagues, who have supported me on my journey. As a recipient of this prestigious award and member of this amazing group of educational leaders I am inspired to pursue more opportunities for teaching and learning collaborations and community engagement”.
Dr Dimitriadi champions Technology Enhanced Learning in the Institute of Education, and supported Reading and other universities to respond to a shift in teaching from Information Communication Technology to Computing in 2014. In addition, Yota was involved in setting up the Computing Network of Excellence and helped establish the University of Reading’s Institute of Education as a key player in the policy and practice of teaching Computing at schools.
Dr Dimitriadi also contributes to international efforts to encourage more women to participate in STEM subjects. She worked as the Lead Academic in a pioneering Knowledge Transfer Project between the University of Reading and the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which provided thousands of young women around the world with opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
You can find further information about all our National Teaching Fellows, here.
Perhaps you are a teaching assistant, a career changer, or even a qualified teacher looking to return to teaching. Or you may be one of the many excellent teachers trained overseas, looking to enter the UK market – or indeed you may be graduating in Summer 2018.
Whoever you are, you are warmly invited by the University of Reading (ranked 3rd in UK for Education*), TeachSlough** and Upton Court Grammar School in Berkshire to a special evening dedicated to those who wish to find out more about getting into primary and secondary teaching.
The evening will be mainly informal; once you have registered your interest in the event via the link below, please feel free to drop in, meet the team and to find out more!
Join us on 21 February 4.30- 6.30 at Upton Court to discover the fields of teaching opportunities available to you.
TeachSlough** has a wide range of excellent training opportunities for teaching, both in primary and secondary schools. The Train to Teach evening will showcase these prospects and encourage anyone who has an interest in teaching to get to know the field, chat to the experts from both Upton Court and the University of Reading and find out what route would suit them best.
Come along to our event to meet the experts:
University of Reading* tutors.
The TeachSlough team
Specialist mentors from our partnership schools as well as from other local training partnerships
Train to Teach Wednesday 21st February 2018, 4.30pm – 6.30pm Upton Court Grammar School Lascelles Road Slough SL3 7PR
*Guardian University League Table 2018: University of Reading ranked 3rd in UK for Education
**TeachSlough School Direct Teacher Training is provided in Slough Partnership schools, working together with the University of Reading. All courses lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You can also opt to do the PGCE course, which leads to 60 Masters credits. You may be eligible for a salaried place, or a bursary.
Speaking recently on International Women’s Day in her capacity as a female senior academic, Dr Catherine Tissot revealed her early inspiration and had some unusual advice for those embarking on a career in education, special needs and academia.
Catherine’s undergraduate degree in the USA focused on special needs teaching and that is certainly where she saw her future lying. She had no inkling then that she would become a teacher of teachers and ultimately the Head of one of the highest ranked schools of education in the United Kingdom.
Catherine’s childhood involvement in voluntary activities with kids in her local park confirmed to her from a very early age that her future lay in education.
She said: “I absolutely knew I wanted to become a teacher from earliest memory and I also became passionate about Special Needs teaching from a very young age.”
After High School (in the USA), Catherine enrolled at the renowned university for special education provision, Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Drawn as always to special needs, Catherine found herself helping out with SN children’s swimming programmes at University in her spare time. She loved her voluntary work and saw her future being in the classroom as a special needs teacher.
Fate thought differently. Travelling to live in France in 1990, following her husband on a work posting, Catherine as quickly formed contacts with local SN groups and began volunteering. Their next posting took the couple to the UK, where she picked up her charity work again. The connections she made at the local University through this led to her being offered a scholarship to pursue a PhD.
Catherine said: “I was so delighted and excited at being offered this unexpected opportunity.”
Focusing her research on how appropriate provision can be determined for the vast array of individuals on the various spectrums of special needs, Catherine examined the perspectives of school, parents and Local Authorities.
Fully absorbed by now, having finished her PhD, Catherine started lecturing part-time at Brunel University. After a brief foray back into a special needs school, she finally arrived at the Institute of Education at the University of Reading in 2008.
As Head of School since 2015, Catherine envisages a world where teachers are given the support and time to attend appropriately to individual children’s differing needs.
She said: “Each special needs child is unique, so teachers need to have the opportunity to make plans that suit the child’s own pattern of learning and well-being. Often the first plan may not work, so you will need to revisit and there needs to be provision for this level of flexibility in the curriculum.”
Catherine sees the academic community getting closer to understanding the causes of autism, but warns that it will be a complex network of causes, rather than just one. She sounds a further warning note about the future of teaching in general in the UK:
“The point I’d like to make is that we are rapidly approaching significant shortages of teachers. This is partly because we are not able to recruit enough new teachers to replace retirees. Sadly, another cause is that teachers are not staying in the field because of the work load. This is a problem that needs addressing at policy level and any solution will come at a cost.
“Another area where I’d like to see change is in the public perceptions of teachers. Remember that what you see in the classroom is only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know of any good teacher who doesn’t work evenings, weekends and holidays to stay on top of planning, marking and paperwork.
“I’d like to see parents more involved too, shouldering their own responsibility of raising children who are school-ready, in the most basic terms. I was talking with a Year 2 teacher last week who was frustrated because a child was not yet toilet-trained, for instance. How can a teacher achieve meaningful results when facing such basic obstacles?”
Catherine’s other concern is the effect of new technology on children’s communication.
“They become consumed by it, addicted to it, and this impedes communication skills, real world skills, writing skills; in fact all the indicators of a successful future. It’s very sad.”
Does Catherine have any words of advice for young people setting out on a career in education?
She cites seizing opportunities when they arise as the secret to achieving life goals – even those goals you didn’t realise you had to begin with.
She said: “I’m now Head of School. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity if hadn’t taken the chance the moment I was offered that scholarship. My confidence grew with the scholarship, and of course each stage of attainment gives you more confidence in yourself.
“I would say, be bold and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. Be sure to realise and recognise opportunities that may be right in front of you. And remain constantly reflective in your daily life. Take suggestions positively, seize opportunities and don’t be too risk averse.”
When she has time off from running the Institute of Education, Catherine absorbs herself in another kind of growth. Her allotment is her pride and joy and she describes the pleasure of growing all her family’s vegetables. Catherine also closely follows the fortunes of her favourite American football team, the Green Bay Packers and when she has a moment to spare, loves to swim with the group of lads who are her swimming buddies.
When asked whom she would point to as her career inspiration, she pauses for a moment.
“There are so many. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been helped by informal mentors throughout career and my family has a tradition of strong women! My most recent inspiration though has been the IoE’s own Professor Rhona Stainthorp. She is so very good at challenging me in a supportive manner and she always has an open door and cup of tea ready!”
After an extremely successful conference last March, the Institute of Education is delighted to present this third specially designed conference for those working with Early Years children. This year, the focus will be on process of intentional teaching and children being partners in their own learning.
Conference organiser Dr Helen Bilton said: “Last year’s conference saw delegates emerging feeling reinvigorated and refreshed. That is what we have planned for them this year – with a different focus.
Some of last year’s delegates said:
“The day was thought provoking, inspiring, great resources, friendly teachers.”
“I liked the mixture of keynote speech plus workshops, and the opportunity to share ideas and network.”
“The talk was inspiring, the workshops were useful, all great ideas.”
Intentional teaching, intentional learners: ensuring children are partners in their development
Thursday 16 March 2017 from 09.30-15.00 at London Road Campus, University of Reading
09.00 Refreshments, networking, workshop sign-up and welcome 09.30 Introduction 09.45 Keynote speech – intentional teaching, intentional learners: ensuring children are partners in their development 10.45 Break 11.15 Workshops* 12.30 Lunch with exhibitors 13.30 Workshops* (repeated sessions from morning) 14.45 Evaluation 15.00 End – you are welcome to stay and mingle with other delegates
*The same seven workshops will be offered both morning and afternoon. Delegates will be required to select two workshops at time of booking from the drop-down menu – one for the morning and one for the afternoon. Remember, you can choose the workshops in either order, so if your morning choice is full, simply book that workshop in the afternoon instead, and your other choice for the morning. See below for workshop titles, synopses and speaker biographies.