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The importance of interpersonal skills
The importance of interpersonal skills

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4 Supply and demand: Kiran's story

The first six months have just flown by. I've really enjoyed working with the two or three schools that I chose following my conversation with my friend who is a student. I feel that I have established a good reputation for reliability as well as keeping the classes moving forward in their work. My family seems to be coping well with having a mother who goes out to work. Akaash tells his friends that his mother is a teacher as well as a mum and Rohit is now an expert with the microwave!

I do have to admit that I've always liked Longheath School the best and that's been one of my most regular schools. Mrs Jackson has done a superb job since they had an awful Ofsted report, about four years ago now. Lots of parents want their children to go there now, even though it's not in the poshest part of Castletown. She is a very good manager of the school and encourages her staff to develop as managers, too.

When I was last at Longheath, Mrs Jackson asked if I knew that the school was about to advertise a permanent part-time post in health and social care. She also asked me if I would consider applying. You know me, I said that I would have to go home and think about it. But, after talking it over with Rohit, I did apply – and got the job.

I soon realised that being a permanent member of staff would be very different from ‘appearing’ as a supply teacher. There were four other teachers involved in the same area as me, including Anna, the Head of Department. Most of my contact with the team so far has been through Anna, who is very conscientious but a bit disorganised and something of a worrier. The others, as I found, are all very different. There is Julie, who is full of ideas and enthusiasm for her job but seems to have a new interest every time you talk to her. Then there is Edith, who is very practically minded and helpful but tends to have very fixed views. And finally there is Ray, the other part-timer, who is a sensitive soul with a lot of time for people – so much so he tends to be late for everything. I must admit, I do wonder sometimes how they all get on.

Activity 2

Timing: 0 hours 30 minutes

Write a short paragraph of at least four sentences to answer the following question:

If Kiran were to turn to you for advice about working within a team, what ideas from this course could you use to help her?


This is a useful activity for reviewing your understanding of the ideas in this course about interpersonal skills. For example, Kiran could develop a better understanding of the team she is now part of and the role(s) she might play in it, following Belbin's definition of team roles. Alternatively, she could start to gain a better understanding of the relationships the group has already established amongst themselves by using Berne's ideas on ego states. There may be some clues to the roles and relationships of the team members in the final paragraph of the case study.