Friday, 11 July 2014

Skillstep: Week 7

Week 7 of the Skillstep course is now complete!

I was only able to attend 2 of the 3 days this week, as I attended a conference in Liverpool at St. Vincent's School for the Blind yesterday; of which there will be a blog post very soon!

During Tuesday's session with Maureen we looked at assertiveness, decision-making and reducing stress. We started with assertiveness first and differentiated between assertiveness and aggressiveness and how they are not the same, the benefits of assertiveness in that it provides you with credibility, respect and the outcome you want and then demonstrated these new skills in a roleplay scenario which was recorded for our video portfolio for evidence in our accrediation. We looked at decision-making next, and how we prioritise tasks in order of importance to make our decisions; through exercises that involved choosing from a menu and setting up a new home. The session was concluded by looking at ways of reducing stress - through techniques such as relaxation, counted breathing and a stress journal.

Puppy Trainer with Yoda

On Wednesday's session, the Skillstep group and I visited the Guide Dogs training centre in Atherton for a guided tour around the kennels, a talk from a puppy walker and his boarded puppy Yoda - who will soon be undertaking her Guide Dog training! - as well as talks from members of staff including a mobility officer, and visiting the agility arena to partake in a blindfolded walk for harness training and a demonstration performed by current Guide Dogs in training and their trainers. We had a photo session too!

Kennels at the Guide Dogs Training Centre

Obstacle course inside the training arena

Thursday's session was focused around concluding the 29 tasks for Entry Level and Level 1 accreditation, and signing off work in both our own portfolios and Linda and Neil's portfolios to then be looked at by an examiner. During next week's session, we will be looking at Microsoft PowerPoint and using it to create a presentation to then communicate to the rest of the group in pairs.

You can find out more about Skillstep by clicking here and can register your interest to the course via e-mail.