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Unlock your potential to improve for the future

HEA Fellowship may be one of those things you’ve been meaning to do for a while but you just haven’t got around to it yet. It can be hard to find the time and the space you need, in amongst all the emails and distractions, to be able to effectively reflect on and write about your teaching practice.

The solution is attending one of SLTI’s writing retreats, run throughout the academic year specifically for breaking ground and making progress on your application, whether that’s at Associate, Fellow or Senior level. A number of colleagues have taken that step and discovered some of the benefits.

Both Gillian Saieva, from SLBC, and Claire Riches, from SADF, valued the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and focus on their practice. As Claire said, sometimes life can’t help but get in the way, so having dedicated time to work on an application can be exactly what is needed.

There’s expertise on hand to offer support if you need it, and it’s funny how much easier it gets to sit down and write when you’re in a room with a lot of other people doing the same thing. It’s not often we get to experience that in academia, and it can be good sometimes to have the opportunity to remember how enjoyable writing can be.

And writing about yourself, too! Ross Thompson points out that as well as improving job and promotion prospects, the process of applying for Fellowship – as our industry standard – can make us better teachers. 

We have to think about the wider world, too. Fellowship puts us on a level with colleagues at other institutions, giving us a means for comparison that cuts across size and status, and like it or not it’s an important indicator for the TEF. That doesn’t just have to be in a tick box, quantitative way though; it’s evidence for the quality of teaching and learning at Solent, and as such something to be proud of for its own sake.

Reflection is key, in giving the chance to take a step back and unlock the potential of what you’ve already done. So if you’re thinking about Fellowship, or if you want to take the step up to Senior, sign up for the next writing retreat!