At USB-ED a Learning Process Facilitator (LPF) plays the vital role of mediator, mentor and advisor to participants and groups. Please let us introduce you to Kevin Henderson, USB-ED LPF and Integrated Learning Professional.
Tell us a little more about your professional experiences, particularly those not mentioned on your resume/application.
I started my working career as a Biology and Science teacher. I progressed into a managerial role as HOD for Natural Sciences. During this time I completed some part time studies and qualified as a clinical psychologist. This was prompted by my experience as a young teacher trying to understand young people. My training as psychologist later led to me becoming a school psychologist at the WCED and my career as public speaker, trainer and motivational teacher was launched. In my twenty year journey as a clinical psychologist I have become skilled at trauma counselling, conflict resolution, staff development and coaching. I work predominantly in the Employee Assistance space, which is characterised by Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
How do you define good teaching?
In my view good teaching should be learner centred and results in changed behaviour. The teacher acts as facilitator of the learning process, rather than an expert or authority of knowledge.
What do you think are the most important attributes of a good instructor?
Empathy, inspirational and risk taker, as you have to model this to the learners.
Share your ideas about professional development
Professional development is absolutely necessary. It’s the only way we can improve ourselves and make the world a better place. The value of professional development is best encapsulated through the words of John Cotton Dana, a public librarian, who said, "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn".
How do you engage students
Through being actively engaged in the learning process. This very often depends on my ability to create an environment conducive to learning which is often characterised by joy, relief and non-competitiveness. This, however, often necessitates risk-taking and as an LPF I often have to assist participants in navigating the risks.
Why did you choose this profession/field?
I’m naturally drawn to people and love seeing people grow into their full potential. I’m privileged to be a part of this as nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing people growing to be the best versions of themselves.
What have you learned during your engagements with participants?
Humour is a powerful tool in getting people to relate to each other. By setting the example in not taking yourself too seriously, you provide “permission” to participants to laugh at themselves and accept themselves warts and all.
What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?
Running a psychology practice for the last twenty years in difficult circumstances fills me with pride. Every time I witness the transformation of a group of students who started a programme and progress through the journey of the BDAL, I am proud of the joint effort of every role the team at USB-ED has played in the development of our people.