Professional reflections on dialogue in professional learning

Kerry Kay

Kerry Kay has been teaching in Further Education for 22 years. She started teaching in the theatre departments at Coatbridge College, specialising in Technical Theatre.

She began teaching Core skills at Coatbridge College halfway through her career before moving to Forth Valley College to teach Core Skills in 2012. At Forth Valley College she was seconded as a Learning and Digital Skills Mentor. This was a great opportunity to learn and teach new skills and support staff across the college in a variety of ways.

This experience has sharpened Kerry’s belief that mentoring in FE is a worthwhile endeavour and she hopes it is one that FE will continue to embrace. Alongside GTC Scotland registration, Kerry believes it is the most significant recognition of the importance of continuous professional development for FE lecturers in recent times.


Watch Kerry discuss her professional learning

In this 10-minute video, Kerry talks with former GTC Scotland Senior Education Officer Pam Currie about her secondment.

What impact did your professional learning have on you, your colleagues and students?

My mentoring experience has increased my confidence to try new things and not be afraid to fail. It has allowed me to be a more reflective practitioner and I now make time to ensure this is part of what I do on a day to day basis.

My practice is much more informed and I am willing to share good practice more readily and I am more willing to accept help or discuss ideas with my peers.

I think the impact on my colleagues is that we are a better network across all departments in the college and we support each other in order to try new things and discuss new approaches.

In turn, students have benefited from not just my experience but the experience of all the mentors in the team and the expertise that is there, aiming to strengthen and encourage good practice across the college.

Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges in action

3.4 Effective application of digital technologies to learning, life and work

3.4.1 Promotes and supports the safe and respectful use of digital technologies and the impact on others.
3.4.2 Engages with, and evaluates critically, the use of technologies and their impact on meeting student needs, and supporting learning, teaching and assessment.
3.4.3 Promotes and facilitates wider access to learning and teaching and assessment through the effective application of digital technologies.

3.5 Critical reflective and collaborative practice in learning and teaching

3.5.1 Uses critical reflection to manage self, relationships and work demands to promote personal, emotional and physical wellbeing.
3.5.2 Develops the skills and attributes of critical reflection and collaborative practice and uses them to enhance the quality of the learning experience.
3.5.3 Proactively engages in professional dialogue with colleagues and peers to share learning and innovative practice.
3.5.4 Facilitates and engages in the use of local and global digital learning communities to enhance opportunities for collaborative practice.

Read the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges