Restaurant, Wine and Bar Team – Tertiary Teaching Excellence Teaching Profile
Teaching profile from Restaurant, Wine and Bar Team (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology) – Award for Sustained Excellence in tertiary teaching 2012.
Kathryn Fortescue, Heather Dyksma, Katrina Fisher, Frances Oberg-Nordt, Jenny Ritchie, Kent Slocombe, Cheryl Stokes, Susan Taylor.
He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.
What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people.
The Restaurant, Wine & Bar Team comprises seven vocational tutors and a specialist technician. We work as a cross-functional team within CPIT’s School of Food & Hospitality delivering training to approximately 900 students per annum. People come to us from diverse backgrounds to study full and part-time courses and programmes from NZQA Levels 2 (STAR and the Canterbury Tertiary College) to 5 (Diplomas in Professional Cookery and Hospitality Management). Many of the students would describe themselves as non-academic, tactile learners with a keen interest in a hands-on career in an exciting, people-focused environment. Word of mouth recommendations from family, friends, teachers and career advisers attract them to the programmes. Some did not enjoy school and are reluctant to engage in theory work. Ethnic diversity is broad encompassing Maori, Pasifika and English as Second Language students, the latter comprising International students, children of first generation immigrants, ex-refugees and NZ permanent residents. We also have contact with members of the general public through our Visions-on-Campus training restaurant; we participate in CPIT marketing activities including taster courses for secondary school students, as well as with Career Adviser seminars and open days.
The strength of our team lies in a shared desire to treat all learning, including our own, as an unfolding journey and exciting adventure. Such thinking arouses a passion to be adaptable, to approach work with energy and enthusiasm, and to identify and seek out new paths and opportunities. Skills and attitudes developed by working as “people people” in the Hospitality Industry have inculcated the value of seeing the big picture, the importance of attention to detail, and manaaki – the ideal that it is our duty and privilege to present and give others the best we have.
We work within the School of Food and Hospitality, which has a reputation for quality that is recognised by a supportive local industry as well as our Industry Training Organisation, the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI). The School has four HSI Excellence in Training Awards. It has two Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards; the Cookery Team was honoured in 2003 and Bakery Tutor Selena Chan won the Prime Minister’s Supreme Excellence Award in 2007.
In 2003, we documented our philosophies as a “Culture Statement” with the overall theme that “Together Everyone Achieves More”. The Culture Statement focuses on our goals and how we will work together. For example, we depend on and trust each member to take responsibility for the output of the team by working to a high standard with passion and enthusiasm. We build team capability using the strengths, professional development and life experiences of each member with a united purpose in order to achieve excellence together. Our practical experiences are balanced with academic qualifications from certificate to post-graduate level. We place a high value on hands-on learning, creative teaching techniques, and emotional intelligence. We apply these values across the spectrum from programme planning and scheduling, to classroom management and review. Thoughtful management encourages us to stick to our purpose and provides opportunities for us to build and share core competencies.
The team seeks change through development opportunities including embedding literacy into the curriculum. Members participated actively in the Ministry of Education’s Learning for Living and CPIT’s Words Add-Up Projects and Foundation Learning Projects. The Christchurch earthquakes and their aftermath have been approached with good humour and a “can do” attitude, particularly when the February 2011 quakes forced us to evacuate our U Block HQ on CPIT’s Madras Street campus. CPIT management secured premises – no small feat at the time - at The Equestrian Hotel, Hornby, with classes up and running within two and a half weeks of the event. Students were welcomed to The Equestrian with a survival kit containing ten small items including a razor - “in case things get hairy”!
We explore ways in which to use technology to achieve best practice and learner engagement. A collaborative AKO funded 2011 project with Selena Chan explored the effectiveness of using tablets to teach practical barista classes.
Key strengths that each member brings to the team include:
- Heather Dyksma’s interest in Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and Marshall’s Philosophy of Discipline and Responsibility, making her a valuable “go to” person for handling classroom management issues.
- Katrina Fisher’s passion for multi-media has encouraged us to explore smart, effective and efficient ways to acquire and use technology. She advocates combining technology with hands-on teaching to captivate learners’ imaginations.
- Kathryn Fortescue’s big picture view provides the platform for course and programme design that supports the team to keep abreast of educational change, including academic processes that embed strategic literacy.
- Frances Oberg-Nordt’s compassion, interest in Maori and Pasifika students and pastoral care remind the team of its people-focused values.
- Jenny Ritchie’s knowledge of logistics supports timetable development and ensures timely delivery of classroom materials such as food, beverages and equipment.
- Kent Slocombe’s long-term industry background provides a wealth of product knowledge. Students comment on his sense of humour, friendliness and inclusive approach.
- Cheryl Stokes’ passion for and interest in layout, colour, and font encourages us to undertake continuous reviews to improve and update our workbooks and teaching resources.
- Susan Taylor’s up-to-date product knowledge, derived from attending industry events such as Pinot Noir NZ, provides on-trend support. Students view her as optimistic, patient, cheerful, well-prepared and encouraging.
In conclusion, the team endeavours to use strategies that encourage student independence and that are participative, fun and innovative, well-planned and resourced. Our current and future focus is to:
- Consolidate embedded literacy practices.
- Explore strategies to expand embedded numeracy opportunities.
- Implement the use of tablets at Visions-on-Campus.
- Continue to develop self-assessment skills.
- Test the boundaries of Moodle to increase interactive learning support.
- Explore the application of smart and e-book technologies.
- Develop investigative project and team-based learning and assessment activities.
The AKO award money is to be used to develop content knowledge through attendance at local and international hospitality-related conferences and events. The team also intends to purchase laptop and iPad technology for lesson development.
E raka te mauī, e raka te katau.
A community can use all the skills of its people.
Peer and student comments
Steve Hanrahan, Ex-CEO, Hospitality Standards Institute
The teachers were really great. They all had big personalities and it showed they had a passion for teaching and their line of work.
Anonymous Certificate in Professional Restaurant, Wine & Bar Student Comment, 2011 Student Satisfaction Survey
When we first started the course we were all told our tutor would make English and reading enjoyable and fun. I thought this could never be done, but Heather proved me wrong. As a result, I had the confidence to talk to people and to enrol on the Diploma in Hospitality Management, which was a big jump from Level 2 to Level 5 study.
Simon Wilke, 2011 Graduate, Certificate in Hospitality Level 2
I stay in touch with the RWB team and know I can call in at any time for advice or just for a catch up. They genuinely care for my interests on a professional and personal level.
Luciano Marcolino, 2002 Diploma in Hospitality Management Graduate, National Barista Champion and owner operator of Luciano’s Espresso Bar, Christchurch
There was heaps of info in the workbooks – they encouraged me to look for more.
Cameron Hoogervorst, 2011 Diploma in Hospitality Management Graduate