How to Stay Motivated When Working in Further Education
Assessors, like everyone else, can get a little stressed sometimes. More than that, the repetition and pressure in the role can lead to a lack of motivation and disinterest in the role.
Common stressors for NVQ Assessors include:
- Lack of rapport with learners
- Pressure to meet targets
- Long hours
- Working across multiple sites
- Missing your previous occupation.
Perhaps one or more of those stressors has got you down. Not to worry – in this post we’re going to give a few of our top tips on how to stay motivated when working in further education.
1. Build a community around yourself
Site-hopping, which may happen (especially if you’re a freelance assessor), can leave you feeling a bit disconnected and out of place.
You can beat this feeling of isolation by building your own community around yourself. Social media is a great way to do this.
Groups such as RQF/End-point assessment/Vocational Qualifications Assessors, IQAs and EQAs (LinkedIn) connect people with the same job as you. You can share stories, ask for advice, and vent some of your frustrations. It’s a great way to ask for help without affecting your role in any way.
2. Make time for yourself
Long hours sometimes come with the job, but it’s essential to make time for yourself among the chaos. Whether that’s a drink out with your mates, a quiet film at home, or time outdoors, make sure you spend time – regularly! – doing what you need to do to relax.
3. Revisit your successes
Everyone feels like they’re banging their head against a brick wall sometimes. That’s why it’s important to remember the importance of the job you do. Revisit your successes – check in on previous learners to see how they’re excelling in their new jobs, read learner reviews, count those pass marks. Just remember the difference you’re making to the students every day.
4. Keep challenging yourself
For many of us, having a goal in sight is a key motivator. So, don’t stop once you’ve got your CAVA qualification or once you’ve found your Assessor role. Keep learning, keep training, keep innovating. Take part in CPD courses to keep your skills sharp and develop new ones.
How about this Harvard course on Superhero Philosophy? Or perhaps a course that might help tackle the root of stress, such as Productivity and Time Management for the Overwhelmed.
5. Create rapport with your learners
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a joke with your learners here and there. Hitting targets is important, but so is the dynamic you create in your classroom and on-site.
Tips to help build rapport include:
- Arrive early and/or stay late to make opportunities to chat with students ‘off the clock’
- Use relevant and/or humorous class examples
- Address all students by name
- Create drop-in hours for students to come by to ask questions or address concerns
- Share anecdotes from your time on the job – one of the great things about being a vocational assessor is that you were once in your students’ shoes.
Enjoying the company of your learners can make a huge difference to the job satisfaction you feel on a day-to-day basis. Yes, you have to follow the criteria. Yes, you have to lay down the law sometimes. But, if you’re a humble and approachable assessor, you’ll find you can create the right balance between a relaxed learning environment and getting the right results.
Brooks and Kirk is here to help
And remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or demotivated on any of our courses, we’re here to help.