Ask Anna – Advice for starting the CSBM

Dear Anna, I’m about to start my CSBM qualification. Do you have any advice? New Learner

Dear New Learner,

That is exciting news. I’m sure you are looking forward to getting stuck into all the reading, learning and meeting new people as you go through your course.

I don’t think anyone realises until you work in a school that a love of learning is contagious. There must be something in the air, all that eagerness to soak up information and the sheer will to succeed, rubs off on the adults too and SBMs are no exception.

Our profession benefits from having an excellent package of available qualifications designed to introduce, develop and extend our practice, and the CSBM will give you the skills and confidence to evaluate procedures in your own organisation and initiate improvements. 

I’m sure you will get considerable support from NASBM and your course leader but here is my advice for the new CSBM-er (or anyone embarking on a new course of study).

1. Remember the old IT adage – RTFM. Read all the instructions and explanatory notes really carefully. If it advises you to do some background or pre-reading, do it. If it suggests you gum up on basic maths, do that too. You’ll be so glad you did as you progress through the course. 

2. When you first embark on a new course of study it is very easy to skip over the first introductory modules, especially if you are already working in a school. My advice would be, don’t. The start of a course is the foundation from which you will build on. Make sure you’ve got the blocks firmly in place before you continue. 

3. You don’t have to do it all on your own. There are hundreds of SBMs out there willing to help you get your head around the concepts. Use the course as an opportunity to make new connections (aka friends) and talk about what you’re doing.

4. Keep up with what is going on in the world of education. Our profession changes so rapidly and we need to know what is round the corner so we can advise on future operational strategies. This will really help with your course as well as your day to day work. Read education sections of the news and get involved in EduTwitter. 

5. This is probably the most important piece of advice. Enjoy it. Don’t see it as a chore, a must do, or a interruption to the rest of your life. Of course there will be deadlines and stress points (and that’s where those supportive new friends come in handy) but if you incorporate it into your routine from the beginning, you will find that learning quickly becomes an interesting and motivating habit. 

You’ve got this. 

Anna

Got a question? Email askannasbm@gmail.com or DM @workingsbm2017

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