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An Interview with Maria Pantoulia – Dyslexia: Leadership & Intervention

Maria Pantoulia – Dyslexia: Leadership & Intervention

Maria works at an international secondary school in Luxembourg where they study the British curriculum. Her daily role at school is Academic Support Assistant. When asked whether or not she has any special interests in SEND, Maria highlighted Dyslexia and concentration difficulties. Hence her decision to study our Dyslexia: Leadership & Intervention, Skills & Knowledge module. Below, Maria explains how she found her time studying with Real Training. 

What made you choose Real Training courses over other options?

The choice to study with Real Training came from a recommendation by the school SENCO, where I currently work. 

What was your experience of learning with Real Training? 

I loved the learning experience and particularly the fact that I could adjust studying to my personal needs and time. The flexibility of the course together with the support from the course leader and tutor made this experience valuable and stress-free at the same time.

How has the course helped make an impact at school?

Through the Dyslexia: Leadership & Intervention course, I have learned how to design a professional presentation on dyslexia for training purposes. That experience has allowed me to train the rest of my team and also to prepare some whole staff training for September. Moreover, I have suggested a new template for the student profiles which again I have learned to design through my time studying with Real Training. 

How has the course helped developed you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

The course has helped me to understand better dyslexia learners’ needs and find the appropriate interventions for each case. I now feel more confident about how to support students with their learning. I am hoping for this course to be the beginning of my future career as an SEN teacher or SENCO. 

 

 

Sarah Johnson-Motyl – NASENCO, CCET, NPQSL, Enquiry-Based SEN Practice, Dyslexia – Leadership & Intervention

Why did you decide to study with us?

I discovered the Real Training courses when I was searching for an online course that could be flexible around my work and home commitments. When I started on my journey with Real Training I aspired to achieve the courses which could be combined to achieve a Masters qualification. At that time I was a single parent with 3 year old twins and a 5 year old, a full time job as a SENCO and so could not be away from home for childcare reasons. This ruled out most courses as weekend commitments were a pre-requisite which I was unable to do. Real Training allowed me to study at the times that suited me (evenings and early mornings) and having an online tutor meant I had flexibility to plan the tutorials and assessment work. I really liked the way the course was structured and it was easy to follow the pathway the from beginning through to final submission. The admin team and help desk always responded swiftly to any queries and so although the course used a remote model of studying, I never felt at a loss or unsupported. I liked the virtual community and the fact that we could all join groups and discussion threads from wherever we were in the world. This breadth of experience added the experience of being part of a group and we supported each other through this means.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

I have studied several courses and I have had a consistent experience with all my Real Training tutors – all have been utterly fabulous. I can honestly say they have been available at short notice for my questions (no matter how small!) and when I have needed additional flexibility to complete coursework they have been 100% supportive.

I like the fact that we are respected as professionals and there is an understanding that juggling family, study, work and of course ‘life’ means that sometimes more flexibility is needed. The encouragement of tutors spurs on any lagging motivation and the online system gives more support than any other course I have done, including face to face courses.

How has the course(s) helped make an impact at school?

I completed the NASENCO course and was able to apply this to both KS1 and KS2 cohorts. By achieving the assessor qualification, I complemented my practice as a SENCO to deepen understanding of complex needs as well as train staff to further enhance their own CPD within SEN. As an experienced SENCO, I mentored international students on their SEND doctorate and MA courses from Exeter University, as well as participated in their research into Lesson Study.

Sarah’s headteacher

‘Sarah created a whole school assessment plan which meant we identified and addressed SEN at the earliest opportunity. She has driven effective interventions for pupils with both specific learning difficulties as well improving outcomes for these pupils. Her ability to scrutinise assessment data assimilate test scores into necessary individualised programmes of study means nobody slips through the net’

How has the course(s) helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

I am looking forward to achieving my Masters qualification and also my National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership. I love studying and am keen to further progress my practise next year.

Not sure which course I will enrol onto next… possibly NPQH! The world is your oyster with the REAL training programmes!