an insight into the role of Student Representative

   written by Marlies, SPOTeurope President & ENOTHE Student Representative

HI EVERYONE!
As some of you may know, last October I became the first student on the ENOTHE board (European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education) to fulfil the role of student representative.

This means that YOUR student voice is now heard, valued and can influence the decision making of the ENOTHE board! Please contact me when you have ideas and/or suggestions which I can share in the board. Every idea is welcome!

To have an idea on the variety of topics on which you can give input, I’d really like to share with you my experiences as the student representative in the ENOTHE board.


BACKGROUND INFO

Before telling my experiences it’s good to have some background information and to know where it all started. The ENOTHE aims to:

  • support, develop and improve educational programs for European occupational therapists that are comparable, of high quality, relevant and responsive to changes in society
  • promote OT within European Higher Education systems in all three educational cycles, research and innovation

Once a year the ENOTHE has a three day conference (the Annual Meeting) where teachers and students from all over Europe gather to share ideas and experiences. I visited my first ENOTHE Annual Meeting (AM) in 2015. There I learned how much fun and of what great value it is to meet with international OT students and teachers. We have so many different ideas and opinions and can learn so much from one another! That AM my enthusiasm for internationalization started and has grown ever since (:

During my very first AM, I got in touch with students who had the idea of setting up a platform for OT students to stay connected throughout the year. I got involved, other students graduated and I took the lead in developing the platform. Throughout the years we’ve grown a lot and got to work closely with ENOTHE. More and more SPOTeurope was asked to give their student opinion and input for increasing student engagement within ENOTHE.

In 2017 at the AM @ Zagreb, SPOTeurope hosted for the first time a student meeting in which all participating students brainstormed about the future of SPOT & ENOTHE. One of the important outcomes was the wish of having a student as a board member of ENOTHE. After pitching and advocating, there is agreed on having a trial year. In this trial year it’s my ‘duty’ to define and shape the role. At the end of this trial year I’ll advise the ENOTHE board on how to proceed based on my experiences and input from all of you.

WHAT HAVE I BEEN UP TO?
This first year is all about shaping this role. I take part and get involved in the day to day tasks of the ENOTHE board. The board involves me in everything, e.g. finances, projects, emails from members, decisions that needs to be taken. They really treat me as an equal, which makes it much easier to give feedback and bring up new ideas! I aim to have more student engagement, so when I see an opportunity to get students involved, I’ll give my opinion and/or feedback. For example the criteria “have at least one student being part of the project group” has added to the project-guideline for an ENOTHE Project.

Next to the day to day tasks of ENOTHE, I’m also participating in the monthly skype sessions and face to face meetings. Last December was the first face to face meeting with this new board. During this meeting I prepared a session to brainstorm about their ideas and vision on the Student Representative role. I’ve asked them the same questions as SPOT asked the students during the Student Session @ AM in Portugal last October, in order to compare our student ideas with the ENOTHE board ideas to see which bridges needs to be build this year which will bring us closer in making this role into a success for both students and teachers.

The next face to face meeting is coming up in April. This meeting is mainly about the next AM, which is going to take place in Athens. We’ll have the meeting in Athens as well (Yay!) to check the venue, speak to the organizing committee etc. We’re also going to develop the program and decide which abstracts will be accepted that’s have been send in (abstract submission is April 15th, 2019 – so if you want to give a presentation, workshop or share your project through a poster; don’t forget to submit your abstract!). One of the things that’s on top of my to do list when I’m in Athens is to meet with students from The Metropolitan College – who will host this AM. I want to get to know them, inform them about procedures, brainstorm with them, see if and how I can assist in the upcoming months and which ideas they have which I can bring to the ENOTHE board.

Not only do I want to meet students in Athens to hear their ideas and suggestions, as a student representative I represent your voice as well! So..

Contactdetails: INSTA, FACEBOOK & EMAIL: marliesnijenhuis@spoteurope.eu

Developing an awareness project

Recap of methods used during a workshop by French OT students

On Sunday March, 18th I took part in a workshop with 16 others French OT students, to learn and start to develop an awareness project about difference. This was one of the many workshops who happened during the 12th WEF of UNAEE, a training meeting of 2 days for OT students, who takes place every year in one of the 24 OT Schools in France.

This workshop was held by Marie, UNAEE’s board member, William, president of Sibsters, and Camille who’s also from Sibsters. If you don’t know UNAEE yet, you can have a look at this former article on the blog.

About Sibsters, it’s a young French association, created by William and a friend of his 2 years ago. Sibsters aims to promote and inform about differences, as today many people are left out of society because of their disabilities, origins, sexual orientation, gender, appearance, etc. Thus Sibsters organises events and uses the hashtag #LaDifferenceInspire that means #DifferenceInspires to promote and communicate about difference.

In this article, I’m going to recap methods we used and ideas we had during this workshop, hopefully it will inspire you to develop projects!

William, with the help of others OT students, identified a specific theme which was LSF, French Sign Language.  The main goal of our projects was to raise awareness about French Sign Language and the need of having basis about it, to foster inclusion of hearing-impaired and deaf population in society.

Choose a theme you care about, identify a need in society. As OT students you are aware of inclusion issues curtain population face of in society, then you can help their voice to be heard.

William, Marie and Camille then suggested 3 types of projects to us: a video, a happening and an event. My team and I choose video! You can do whatever you want: a flyer, a congress, a pop-up in shopping centre, a humanitarian mission, etc. Be creative!

Third step… go for it!

Here’s the method we used to pilot our project development: the Five W’s. These are questions whose answers are considered basic in problem solving.

  • WHO?
    • Who’s involved or will be involved in?
    • Who’s the project lead?
    • Who does our project target?
    • Who’s going to implement the project?
  • WHAT?
    • What do we aim?
    • What do we need to develop and implement our project?
    • Which means will we use to reach our goals?
  • WHEN?
    • When will it happen?
    • It’s also about temporal organization of project stages, creating a timeline is helpful.
  • WHERE?
    • Where will it take place?
    • Where the team will meet/communicate?
    • Where can we find resources?
  • WHY?
    • It’s important to wonder WHY before taking any decision!
    • Why this option rather than another one?
  • And we added a sixth question HOW? to the list.
    • How will it happens?
    • How are we going to manage each stage?

 

In just an hour, we managed to have many rich and concrete ideas! When the whole team brings its creativity it’s much simpler than it seems, then just go for it!

 

Hopefully this article inspire you to use your OT student and personal skills to develop an amazing awareness project, looking forward hearing your feedback and your experiences!

(Posted by Marlies on behalf of author- Maurane)

LOOKING FOR NEW BOARDMEMBERS

Do you like to work in an international context? Do you want to enrich your CV? Broaden your (international) network?

SPOTeurope is a community with members from all over Europe in which we exchange knowledge and practices about the OTworld. It’s a community by students for students.
At the moment SPOTeurope is LOOKING FOR NEW BOARDMEMBERS and maybe that’s you! Experience and affinity with ENOTHE is a pre.

What’s in it for you?
You will co-work with other enthusiastic OT students from all over Europe, which will expand your network. You will also acquire new knowledge about happenings within the OTworld. And it really enriches your CV!  It will approximately take up four hours of your time.

Are you interested?
Please send a motivation letter and a description of yourself (max 1 A4) to: info@spoteurope.eu

For more information, go to our website www.spoteurope.eu or our FB/Twitter @SPOTeurope.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by sending an email to: info@spoteurope.eu .

We have the following openings:

BLOGGER
As blogger you are responsible for writing an refreshing blog once every month about hot topics in the OTworld. This can be an expert interview, a masterclass or something entirely different but interesting.  Next to the monthly blog, the blogger maintains the continuity of the OT-links subpage of the SPOT website.

For this position it is important to try to stay up-to-date about the actions and activities undertaken by occupational therapists and to be able to transform these notions into well written blogs.

PR & SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
As the editor of the social media you are responsible to keep the Facebook and Twitter up to date with all the news, blogs and happenings around SPOTeurope.  Additionally you will share interesting posts and tweets from other occupational therapy related activities.

For this position it is important to have knowledge about Facebook and Twitter. You also have to be able to communicate in a good way and know how to write short interesting and stimulating posts.

ADMINISTRATOR WEBSITE & FORUM
As the administrator you are responsible for maintaining and refreshing the SPOTeurope website in general and keeping the forum up to date.  This means for example to keep discussions going at the forum and help new members get around. You will also make sure the website looks it’s best.

For this position knowledge about WordPress and MyBB is a pre but not required.

 

 

 

KOEK

We are two occupational therapy students who are curious about prewriting skills of children in other countries and how other OT-students become acquainted with these during their education.
In this blog we write about a Dutch assessment which we were introduced to when we had to screen the prewriting skills of children. We will also share our experiences of this assessment with you. Finally we have some statements we would like to discuss about.

KOEK
We like to write a blog about a Dutch assessment the KOEK. The KOEK is an assessment developed by Hartingsveldt van MJ, Cup EHC, Corstens-Mignot MAAMG (2006). The name KOEK stays for ‘The Short Observation Occupation Toddles’ and is developed for children in pre-school. The English version of the Koek is the SPOT (Screening Prewriting Skills Occupational Therapy) The spot has been developed for: 5 and 6 year old children with mild fine motor problems or 5 and 6 year old children showing even milder problems or children that could not be diagnosed with DCD.

The SPOT aims in offering a guideline for observing fine motor skills in preschoolers. The SPOT is a tool for observation with the emphasis on quality of the performance. It has been developed to be used by occupational therapists to assess whether a preschooler has reached an acceptable level of writing readiness. The SPOT can be used to evaluate fine motor problems in preschoolers as well ( Hartingsveldt, 2006). For the SPOT is no special training needed but a profound study of the manual is necessary. The assessment can be done in 30 minutes.
Components SPOT:

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