Doing it for the kids

Keeping up with my kids led me to sign up to two Microcredential* courses via Project Lift.

Always keen to engage with them, I was increasingly aware I didn’t have the knowledge and language to join in the conversations and ideas my primary school aged kids were bringing home about the climate in which they are growing up.

This mini-revelation led me to reflect on what other connections I may be missing and I also realised that I directly influence the focus of about 100 quality improvement projects each year. Many undergraduate and postgraduate medics are interested in projects contributing to a greener NHS and perhaps I could better equip myself to support and influence these.

So, determined to walk my coaching talk, in 2021 I did the Carbon Literacy course followed by Systems Thinking for Climate Change. The best thing about these courses was being guided to material and resources that were completely new me. The natural interest and enjoyment they brought meant the learning felt engaging and relevant.  I found I wanted to get stuck into the courses more than some of the other things on my to-do list!

What impact?

If I take each course separately, the carbon literacy course has definitely influenced my consumer choices and has made me dramatically more aware of the issues and the need for us all to make changes in our daily lives.

On a professional level, the systems thinking course enabled me to really consider the draft NHS Scotland Climate Emergency and Sustainability Strategy. On a very local level I’ve also worked with a colleague to create a short-term post for someone to have dedicated time to bring a real climate perspective to all those improvement projects that I influence. I’m really excited about recruiting and then working with that person.

From a personal development point of view, I’m also doing deeper thinking about the tools and techniques I teach and how to adapt them in light of my new insights. To bring all of these into my wider teaching practice feels like a valuable asset from participating in two short term online courses that have offered me learning from both their content and how they were delivered.

A thought for you,

Alongside my work in quality improvement, I am an executive coach for health and social care staff. I haven’t yet figured out how to weave my new awareness and knowledge into this part of my job, but I am curious how this can be done.  If the coaching client raises them then that is one way but I am very interested in other ideas about how a coach can raise awareness of these issues.

What do you think?

You can comment on this post on twitter by tagging @ProjectLiftScot and @hlshearer 


Heather Shearer works with us in Project Lift as a member of the Kaleidoscope team, our Community Event Partners. She is also a coach and works in medical education with the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee. 

You can find out more about the fully funded MicroCredentials offered by University of Glasgow here.



Graphic – Pixabay