Keith Conner

Keith Conner

Skills

Skills

Getting on with people

In all my jobs I have always got on with people. This includes workers in the statutory and voluntary sector. In Peckham I worked in and was highly involved in a neighbourhood project called The Bookplace - this was a bookshop, a publishing project and an education project. I did paid Literacy and Numeracy work here but was involved in the wider project, including the publishing. To fit in with such a project you really do have to get on with a wide range of people.

Training

Always willing to go on training, to increase my skills, strengthen organisational weaknesses or to extend my role. Happy when appropriate to act as trainer, until recently this was always an important skill.

Able to change

Can see why people like stability, but I am not afraid of change.

Attention to detail

Not in any way obsessive, but do have a healthy attention to detail and checking.

Sociable

Within reason willingly to socialise with colleagues to get a more rounded picture of them, and them of me. Like to have a life outside work. Not over serious as a person; I am naturally happy and have a sense of humour and a well-used smile.

Flexible

Willing to cover for absent colleagues. Happy to support others who are having a bad day. Good at re-assuring people and being positive.

Work independently

Where things are clearly my responsibility I get on with them and do them.

Team player

Stick to the rules. Able to accept instructions. Abide by group decisions even if originally wasn't sure of them. Not a maverick. Willing to allocate responsibility and take it on. Able to report back on things I am responsible for. Willing to learn from my mistakes and involve colleagues or line-manager if necessary.

Convening meetings

Able to set up one-off or regular series of meetings, with notification, agendas and minutes; did this, amongst other times as regional membership secretary for my union.  

Reliable with security codes and keys

Have shown myself able to keep buildings and property secure as a teacher and head of centre.  

Filing

Whether electronic or manual with filing cabinets, the trick is to create a system logical enough for authorised others to find things if I am out of the office. However equally important is the need to maintain confidentiality; this is of the utmost importance.

Inventory supplies

Besides keeping an eye on budget in education you need to make sure you have the resources you need to teach; avoiding waste and checking levels are important. Able to predict the need to re-order. Used to working within financial year and managing budgets.

Backing up electronic data

The days of floppy disks may have gone, but memory sticks still have their place; nowadays some information can be securely stored on the web, but another option is to use an external hard drive. It helps where, as in Time Machine on the Mac, such tasks are carried out automatically, in the background as you work.

Offering information/ signposting

Quickly assimilate information, use reference sources, including web to get information for others. Then give people options, allowing them to choose the best option for themelves. Where I feel others would have more reources available to advise and support people, I then signpost to these other services; this was a central part of my work when I did drop-in Literacy and Numeracy Support.  

Conducting interviews

Able to conduct a series of interviews, e.g. parents' evening. Good at client confidentiality; worked with adult literacy students who were often very nervous. Able to help appoint staff, write job descriptions and selection criteria; excellent knowledge of keeping things fair. Willing and able to keep records of interviews.

Handle the unexpected

Able to coolly escort large numbers of excited/ frightened children from a building during fire drill. Handle simple first aid and able to deal with accidents that need medics. Able to quietly remove insects, rodents, reptiles and amphibians from buildings.    

Collecting, recording and banking money

Able to handle thousands of pounds in cash. Familiar with security procedures of banking cash. Able to understand need to keep sub-groups of finance separate.  

Calculating numerical data

Able to calculate and check without electronic backup. Good sense of whether financial data is sensible and accurate. Well developed methods of checking calculations.

Recording and checking data

Whether face-to-face, over the internet or on the phone I am competent at recording data. Able to keep detailed records manually and electronically; a central part of my teaching work. Checking and cross-checking data.

Word-processing

Input data accurately and check it. Save, record, edit and adapt my work quickly and efficiently. Use a wide range of strategies to explore contrasts, comparisons and connections dynamically. Annotate text in innovative ways. Sort and process text and data quickly and efficiently. Change the organisational structure and qualities of texts to suit different audiences and purposes.  

Honesty and integrity

Used to people assuming I am honest and trustworthy; being able to present yourself as such though is a skill. Straight talking always helps, as does a willingness to admit to errors and learn from them; I gain from this and so have the organisations I've worked for. Routinely fill in Criminal Record Disclosures; it is part of the job.  

Happy with web-based applications

Use the web every day. Understand the need to regularly up-date websites; if you don't people think the site is token or worse still might be misled by out-of-date information. Within reason the ability for one website to link to another is useful; in general it means all linked sites gain more trade. My general feeling is that people hate pop ups and the more polite gentle invitations/ opportunities to follow a link are more likely to be used; even Face Book has understood this. Most modern software has the ability to attempt to prevent spam and it is essential to turn this on. Familiar with several methods of avoiding spam.

Being happy with computers

Capably use my Apple MacBook, but am also familiar with PCs.   Use MS Word 2007/2008 as well as earlier versions. Teach children to use MS Excel, but don't use it every day myself. Use Adobe Photoshop and can upload images from this and other photo software such as iPhoto.   Like to familiarise myself with software useful to myself or my work. This CV is being written on Visual CV a piece of web-based software.   Use IEP Writer and Report Writer as a teacher, so much easier than MS Word and cut and paste.   Generally IT literate; able to use simple control technology. Use text messaging to keep in touch with my three 28 year old children. Familiar with digital camera technology, including using a digital Pentax SLR; this means I know about down-loading photos and using them in variety of applications. Use a Sat Nav, but also carry a map.  

Being bright, cheerful and positive

Answer the phone in an up-beat manner to make the person at the other end feel important. Take care not to offend anyone by being too strident; cultural and age linked norms of behaviour are not the same. Take cues from the response; this means I can use this as feed-back and adjust my part of the dialogue accordingly.   Have similar mechanisms in face-to-face interactions; people will read a lot into eye contact, body language and general appearance. Make sure if someone looks a bit crowded and uncomfortable to step back and give them more space.   Not afraid, if I think something about me is a barrier, to ask a colleague to continur the conversation; making sure of course that the switch itself doesn't appear offensive.

Listening to others

This skill is central to any job; how else can you start to build a relationship with another person?   I have trained myself to wait for young children to say what they want to say; this requires a lot of patience. It can be hard to be quiet and listen, but you reap a reward. Body language, reassuring murmurs, facial expression and eye contact help the other person make their contribution.   Listen carefully to parents who are sometimes concerned about something; this is critical to success. Listen first, then if appropriate make time for a longer talk, take notes, sort out the issues, involve line-manager where necessary and make sure it doesn't happen again. Start the process whereby my organisation's way of dealing with things is changed. Act on any staff training that is high-lighted by the incident.   Use the above skills in face-to-face and phone interactions.

Work History

Work History

Teacher Science Co-ordinator/Appraisal,Assessment,Records and Reporting

Lyndhurst Primary Southwark

Similar duties to other schools

except

was the Science Co-ordinator

also helped Head teacher with Teacher Appraisal

and Co-ordinated Assessment in the school

including SATs

Recording and Reporting to parents.

Social Inclusion Teacher

Marlborough Primary Kensington and Chelsea

Duties not those of a class teacher

but in many ways similar to general description earlier.

Much more emhasis on small group and individual work

aiming to raise self-esteem via improved speaking and listening skills

and much improved reading comprehension

and belief in themselves as writers.

Some maths work.

Teacher

John Evelyn Infants' Deptford Lewisham

Duties similar to other teaching jobs.

In one of the national Educational Priority Areas.

Responsibilities included Language Development, Speaking and Listening within school.

Literacy and Numeracy Co-ordinator, Head of Centre, Community Education Worker

Islington Adult Education

Several jobs over several years

Numeracy and Joint Literacy Co-ordinator, included links to Holloway and Pentonville Prison Education Department

Head of Centre, Headquarters and Arts Centre, included responsibility for collecting fees, overview of creche and canteen, student advice - walk in and telephone; some off-site resposibilities. Art Centre responsible for selling materials, finding and paying models, etc

Community Education Worker, worked with local groups to provide education in the local community.

Was first point of contact for local groups; set up metings, looked at needs, helped prepare bids for funds,generally supported provision and tutors. Keep records of groups, meetings and decisions.

Sep 2004 - Aug 2008

Teacher / Personal, Social and Health Education Co-ordinator

John Henry Newman Church of England Primary School

Core duties -

  • Gaining the confidence and trust of children, parents and fellow professionals.
  • Identifying children's individual and collective learning needs and planning, preparing and delivering education that caters for the full ability range within the class.
  • Employing a variety of teaching methods designed to capture students' interest and maximize individual learning.
  • Utilising interactive activities to develop language and vocabulary, introduce scientific and mathematical concepts and improve social skills.
  • Increasing focus on early academic learning especially when working with very young or SEN children with basic needs: including letter recognition, phonics, numbers and an awareness of science and nature.
  • Planning and organizing a range of individual and group activities, including role play, movement, dance, singing, games, arts and crafts, nature and gardening activities.
  • Introducing a broad range of subjects and developing students' numeracy, literacy, speaking, listening and IT skills.
  • Fostering appropriate skills and social attitudes in pupils; always starting from where the individual is.
  • Developing and implementing extension work for more advanced children and support work for pupils requiring extra assistance.
  • Writing IEPs, using Statements of Special Need when appropriate.
  • Assessing, recording and communicating student progress.
  • Organising learning resources and the classroom environment to facilitate a positive learning experience.
  • Using creative and practical skills to prepare exciting learning materials; using the experience of my colleagues to inspire me.
  • Making use of computer, Roamer and Interactive Whiteboards, including SmartBoards.
  • Planning the indoor and outdoor environment with others to provide a positive and safe learning environment.
  • Dealing creatively and effectively with any problem situations that may arise; having the sense to get help and inform line-manager of any problems.
  • Monitoring and reporting on children's development and identifying those with possible learning difficulties, consulting other professionals where appropriate.
  • Organising and supervising the work of teaching assistants.
  • Communicating effectively with parents about their children's progress, achievements and development,.
  • Ensuring that the health and safety of children and staff is maintained at all times, both inside and outside the classroom environment.

At John Henry Newman Responsibilities included Personal, Social and Health+Citizenship Co-ordinator

Education

Education

Interest

In the last ten years I have completed courses in writing poetry, clay sculpture, life drawing, dance, drama, sailing and clay construction.

A keen walker, including fell-walking and cyclist.

Enjoy cooking, listening to music, including live, reading modern novels and going to the theatre.

Like using computers and taking photos.

All of these things have the potential to enrich both my life and my work.

Objective

To work within South Lakes communities to continue my life-long links with the area.

To have a socially useful job.

References

References

Denise Wake