WorldSkills Ambassador Profile: Katie Asgari
WorldSkills UK is an independent charity that works with educational institutions, employers and governments, with the aim of raising standards in technical education across the UK. RNN Group’s collaboration with the organisation is seen as the beginning of a great journey for both parties.
One of the key milestones in this journey saw five staff members from across the Colleges be chosen as WorldSkills UK ambassadors. Ambassadors for WorldSkills UK are tutors that look to raise the standard of students and College staff through implementing excellence in the classrooms and learning environments.
Over the coming months, we will be taking a closer look at the tutors and the work that they have been doing in their first year as WorldSkills UK Ambassadors.
The first ambassador to be put under the spotlight is Katie Asgari, who, alongside her role with WorldSkills, is a Hair and Media Make-up lecturer at Rotherham College.
We caught up with Katie to see how her first year as a WorldSkills Ambassador has been…
Tell us about your experiences as an Ambassador
Being part of this programme and becoming a WorldSkills Ambassador over the last year has been such an honour. Completing the programme has been extremely enjoyable. It is a programme that has developed me on a personal level and a professional level.
Over the last year, myself and the other Ambassadors have been developing the skills and understanding the need to help implement excellence across the College. Working within our team has been really beneficial for me as we have been able to share experiences from many different careers and curriculum backgrounds.
What is your role as an Ambassador?
When people hear about WorldSkills, they think about the Skills Competitions,
Which is also associated with WorldSkills. By becoming an Ambassador, you are able to develop a better understanding and see that WorldSkills is about so much more than the competitions.
WorldSkills is about delivering best practice within College, delivering excellence.
Our role as Ambassadors is to embed excellence in the day-to-day sessions at College.
What ‘excellence’ is, is subjective to each learner. However, one of the key aspects to consider when looking at delivering excellence in the learning environment is to first deliver competence within a given sector and then work with the student to achieve excellence.
We look to work with competence and eventually deliver excellence at College through implementing competition in day-to-day thinking. We started this process by learning about the risks and rewards with competitions. Although competition can be very beneficial, it is also important to understand the different skillsets and mindsets of both staff and learners.
I looked to implement excellence through a series of Pressure Tests, where students were tasked with different challenges related to their curriculum area. My Hair and Media Make-up students were tasked with planning, designing and creating different looks to match their skill sets. The aim of this was to put the students in challenging circumstances which tested their skills in collaboration with other students and strengthened their learning in competitive environments.
The most important part of my role as an Ambassador is to underline that WorldSkills is for all curriculum areas. All students can benefit from having excellence embedded into their curriculum.
How have you developed as a tutor since becoming an Ambassador?
I have developed personally as well as professionally. I have become more aware of what areas of my teaching can be developed, and how I can learn to incorporate excellence in my own teaching as well as teaching others.
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
Observing the growth in the learners and their performance within the pressure tests. Following their journey from first seeing the brief, to seeing their happy and relieved faces at the end, as they see the work they’ve done, has been so rewarding for me.
What can we expect to see from the Ambassadors in the coming months?
I am really looking forward to year two of the Colleges’ collaboration with WorldSkills.
Myself and the four other Ambassadors will work with other tutors from across the Colleges to try to pass on the skills and knowledge we learned last year and make sure that more learners and staff can benefit from the path from competence to excellence.
Finally, I’d just like to say that I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this programme, I cannot wait to see what year two brings!