This all began after an exceptionally good response to a recent recruitment campaign. So many people attended that our go-to teachers – the current & previous tower captains – were swamped and the ‘improver’ ringers undertook a teaching ‘baptism of fire’. It soon became obvious that, although pupils were progressing, we all desperately sought reassurance that we were not inadvertently doing harm!
Research quickly identified the ART course and we were able to settle on a date on which a maximum number our tower could participate in. Thus six St Johns ‘teachers’ and our Tower Captain as mentor, supported by another senior ringer from a local Tower (again as a mentor) were joined by four more ‘teachers’ – Northfield, Birmingham, Sherbourne, Oxford and a Mentor from Newbury.
Our Tutor – Graham Nabb – was friendly, supportive and understanding before & during the course. He is a natural people person & brilliant tutor. Graham anticipated many of the concerns & questions we had, thus giving us a clear understanding of our role as Teacher AND Coach. We were given clear challenges over the way we currently approach training new members which, though radically different from the traditional ‘fitted into practice’ model and carrying significant time management consequences, will be seriously considered.
I can’t believe how quickly the time passed, even in the theory session, while the practical’s were a blur of exercises and self-review and tactful feedback relating to our newly awakened observation skills.
The victuals for lunch and breaks were provided by the St Johns Tower members, so we hope our guests were offered an acceptable variety of items.
We were so engaged we only had time to take a ‘rogues gallery’ shot of most of the participants (the shrinking violet was our guest Mentor – Diane!)
The St John’s course attendees were still buzzing the following morning and the air of excitement percolated through to our ‘students’ and our other ringers, even the sceptics. We are itching to get started, but – patience is a virtue.
I anticipate that we will keep in contact with the ‘guests’ trainees, particularly as two are within 20 minutes drive of our tower, but I feel that there will be equally close engagement with the others via the wonders of modern technology.
I have a feeling that we will follow-up the course with further modules, but First Things First, we need to engage in some Whole-Part-Whole planning.
I guess that I’m preaching to the converted, but from what I’ve seen, more towers need to experience this Module.
Lyril Rawlins – St John’s Bromsgrove
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.