Meet the Experts...

Meet the experts... Jane Hawkins

Jane Hawkins
ICT Software Trainer

Background

Jane has worked at PETA for almost 19 years, making her an extremely experienced and knowledgeable member of the ICT training team. Her role involves teaching ICT software courses, both at PETA’s training centre in Portsmouth, and offsite within organisations that have brought her in to deliver training to a group of employees.

Jane also runs IT surgeries at a company’s request, whereby employees can bring along their IT problems and receive assistance with them. She also looks after digital marketing and IT user apprentices to ensure they get the training and support they need.

Prior to PETA, Jane worked as a data processor for 10 years before returning to education to complete a degree in Computing.

What’s your teaching style?

I’d say I have a pretty relaxed teaching style. When teaching beginner courses such as Computing Fundamentals, many of those attending are in practical or manual roles but are perhaps stepping up into supervisory roles that require them to have computer skills. My main aim is to give them the confidence to try things as that’s the best way to learn. When they first arrive, they’re wary and worried about breaking something, but by the end I hope they’ve become more comfortable with using the computer and realise they’re quite difficult to break!


How do you approach your courses?

I encourage everyone to take a very hands-on approach to the courses; to listen, then have a go themselves to cement the knowledge. I talk them through each aspect of the programme at hand, ensuring they understand each element before moving on. I’m often able to tailor the course to suit the audience, so we’ll spend more time on things that will be useful to them in their everyday jobs.


What’s the most important thing for your delegates to take from your courses?

I just really want to build their confidence and for them to feel more relaxed about using the programme so they’re able to try new things and find their own way around the software after the course is over. Being able to enhance their knowledge further by trial and error is essential.


What knowledge/experience do you draw upon most when teaching?

So many people’s experience of IT professionals is of them snatching the mouse away to solve the problem faster, but I never snatch the mouse! I want them to learn for themselves, so I give them the guidance they need and the time to learn. The most effective way of learning is by doing; that hands-on, practical experience is invaluable.

What’s it like working for PETA?

It’s such a great place to work. The people are lovely and there’s a really good team atmosphere. As a company they’re really supportive and constantly investing in staff’s continuing professional development. I studied for my PGCE alongside working here and they supported me through that busy and challenging time. I was thrilled to pass the course and graduate!

 
What do her delegates say about her?

“Thank you for yesterday Jane; I very much enjoyed the course and the way you taught it was lovely!”

“It was a great course and a bit of fun too! I’m sure we’ll see you again for some more Excel!”

“I was slightly apprehensive about how I would cope with the course due to my job not usually being computer based, but I needn’t have worried due to the way you taught the subject which made it very easy to understand and take in.”

“Thank you very much Jane. Really enjoyed the course today, thank you.”


“I found the course really informative and I’m looking forward to putting what I learnt into practice. Thank you Jane!”

 

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