In this assignment it is a reflection on a critical incident that is experienced while teaching the module level 4 at the University to where I work. The description of the incident will be based on the Gibbs model of reflection. The Gibbs model follows; description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion and the action plan (Baldwin, 2016).
Figure 1: Gibbs model (Wilson, 2017)
The incident I will be reflecting on occurred whilst I was teaching in the personal tutoring module level 4. There was a student that I teach by the name Darley who complained that I teach them importance of class attendance, its benefits to them which is one of the university policies. However, the students seem not to match their experience from attending the classes. This can be reflected on the way they are treated in the student hub whenever they need to get things done. For example in case they need to change their time table to suit their family and the work circumstances they are not allowed. The most important factor in this incident is that as the tutors we always signify the benefits of attending the classes, and the importance it has on their studies yet they are not able to reap the benefit associated to it. Small issues which can be addressed in the student hub such as time table to suit them are not addressed yet the same policy advocate for attendance.
The feeling I felt in this situation was an embarrassment in the presence of the whole class. I felt speechless at first and a desire to run away. I have always taught the students the importance attendance to the classes and this is also part of the policy in the university. Nonetheless, as much I have advocated on this policy, the student needs have not been met at the student hub where issues such as timetable could be changed to suit their needs or they could have other issues affecting them and needed to be addressed. I was always looking down, unable to meet the students’ eyes. This was that moment I felted devastated and felt let down by the same system I was supporting. I found this incident upsetting to witness as the distress was caused by the members of staff that work at the student hub and their actions needs to be addressed.
At the time the experience was good since I was able to ask the other students in the class if they encountered similar experience. A lady student in class answered that she has had the same experience. However, she was told that it would take the student hub about five weeks to be able to change the timetable for her. This provided the whole class the necessary information. For me the whole experience was bad because the student who was complaining on the issue was using a lot of foul words and was practical destroying the reputation of the college.
Even though the student was making a complaint, he should to have done it in a calm manner, so that we could identify where the issue was and how it could be addressed. College reputation is very essential since it portrays the image to the outside world (Muijs and Reynolds, 2017). When the image is destroyed with such language it would definitely affected the number of admissions.
The main issue which has been raised by the student is on how their issues are not addressed at the student hub especially in changing of the timetable (Borg, 2015). Based on the student complaint procedure, in general they may not consider any issues that are raised through the student complaint procedure (Everett and Grey, 2016). Either it has no control over the service or the facility being provided or where there is no alternative procedure which is more appropriate to the nature of issued raised. In an institution such as the one that I teach, there are many procedures which are involved and changes in certain complaint or suggestion needs to be verified and approved by different staff (Tam, 2015). Student can make a request and such a request take time to be reviewed and approved. Additionally, the student hub handles a lot of duties not just changing the timetable (Larson and Marsh, 2014). There are many issues which affect the students and the number of the student is overwhelming (Farrell, 2015). Therefore, it takes time to address each and every issue that is brought to them. I think the student could have waited for some time for his request to be made, just as the lady had been told it would take approximately five weeks for her request to be made. It is important to the individuals to learn to talk to people, and when one talk arrogantly to others in regards to a certain problem, their issues cannot be addressed appropriately. It is important to be polite and calm and express the issue which affects one and through this way amicable solution would be provided.
Looking back at the incident, I should have acted sooner and ensure that the student did not speak in foul words to me. Embarrassment came from the foul words he said to me and how he was destroying the reputation of the college which I value most. I can see that my delay to act when the issue was raised caused all the complaints that were raised in regards to the issue. When the student raised the issue, I should have given the way forward or provided room for consultation on the matter with the concerned department to address on the issue appropriately.
In the future, I will aim to develop more assertive skills when answering the student query, to ensure that their issues are addressed before they escalate. I will ensure that the members of staff who are involved in resolving a given issue can address it before it gets to point where complaints arises.
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