Wednesday, 26 March 2008

If you're NOT in regular teaching...

(1) So far as I can gather from the IfL (Institute for Learning) website if you are currently teaching in FE colleges (funded by LSC (Learning & Skills Council, ie government)) you must register with IfL by 31 March 2008 -- no fee to pay.

(2) But if you teach (train, assist-teach etc) in other LSC funded institutions (say prisons, community education etc) you have til 30 September 2008 -- no fee to pay.

(3) OR, if you do NOT CURRENTLY teach in LSC funded institutions -- but who knows, you might! -- you have until 31 March 2008 to register with no fee to pay. After that date, fee is £30.

I'm thinking of writers and creative types who teach occasional part-time creative writing adult classes... so this would be category 3 if you are not currently in a teaching gig. Most likely you'd register as an associate.

As to what this is all about, see my 15 Jan and 11 March blog entries, the comment from Lindsay on the 11 March blog, and the links under Gov't Now Requires in the column to the right -- the official sites.

Strange breaks with Easter so early this year, are you and your students confused?

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Writer's block

Led my Matrix group of experienced writers this morning. Writer's block was on their request list. Don't we all have it from time to time in larger and smaller degrees. After a quote or two from writers' interviews I'd recently read we had a good spontaneous airing of 8 people's stuckness. Blocks ranged from 'finished one thing, 3 weeks dryness' to 'was going fine, now dwindled to 2 forced sentences per session' to 'hating and waiting for agents before I can move on' to '3 year block on one project' to outright depression. Whew.

This discussion led naturally to lots of helpful ideas, swaps of 'what works for me'. Then we looked at a list of 20 sources of blocks from Eric Maisel's A Life in the Arts (1994, Tarcher/Putnam, NY) and, by vote (which blocks seem to apply to you?) explored some more deeply. I had us stand up and do a couple of mild brain-mind physical excercises -- always good to remember we writers have bodies. Ended with some guided writing questions including, finally, an animated visualisation of the frozen-in-fear block, and getting the creature to move.

One of the best things about teaching experienced writers, for me, is that I get to work on myself at the same time that I'm helping the writers in the group.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Don't miss 31 March FE tutors' registration deadline

Save £30 by registering before end March on the government-required Institute for Learning (IfL) register. Read more about it on my 15 January blog, and/or see the links I give on the right here under 'Gov't Now Requires...'

It's all about improving the quality and standards of teaching in the over 16's sector -- you've got to be registered for any teaching that gets public funding. You can still register after 31 March, but then there will be a fee of £30. As writing-type teachers, even if not currently teaching, we can be associates, so go ahead now -- why spend if you don't have to!

Meanwhile spring/summer teaching is shaping up, my trip to Nepal and India still swirls in my mind and soul and my duties call as new editor of The Brief, newsletter of the British Haiku Society.