Resit counselling

The Open University asked me to act as a resit counsellor for them.  This involves telephoning students who have failed their course, and ensuring that they are aware of their options.

As this is my first year, I’ve only been given sixteen students to call.  I made the first pass of all the students so far, and managed to contact around half of them.

It’s a tricky role, and I think I’ve been fortunate that the people I have called have been pretty philosophical about it.  Some have simply given up on the course, and won’t take the resit, others are keen to resit, and are happy with what they need to do.

It’s always good to celebrate success, but this has been a good experience for me, to remind me that not everyone’s learning journey ends with a qualification or what the institution would regard as a success.  A couple of people I’ve called have said ‘I knew the course wasn’t right for me, and at least I know that I’m stronger at x or y‘.

The techniques are similar to those that I outlined in ‘Giving Bad News’,trying to build a rapport with the student.  The book that I recommend to students – How to Say it at Work has been useful here.  It explains how to deal with difficult situations, both face to face and on the telephone.

I’ve looked in the past at taking a counselling courses, a friend completed one a few years back, and found it useful.  Maybe something to consider in the future.

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