I have been wanting to go on an ART training module for some time now, and when I heard that the Leicester Diocesan Guild was arranging a Module 1 training day I was very excited. Nine other people from the Guild were obviously very keen too, as all the places for the training day at Hathern on 22nd October were filled by Leicester Guild members before the course had the chance to be opened up to people from further afield!
We were a mixed group – some trainee teachers who had never taught before, people who had been thrust into a teaching role as being the only person available or willing to give it a go, and some of us who have been teaching for years but wanting to learn new techniques.
The group gelled immediately, partly as most of us already knew each other. Throughout the day there was plenty of communication within the group as members discussed how to apply what we were learning to our own situations – drawing on the experience not only of Moira, the course tutor, but that of the other participants too. Moira guided us deftly through the curriculum, a mix of presentations and hands on practice, with plenty of tea breaks to help sustain flagging minds so we were fresh for the next bit of learning!
Coming away from the course we all felt we had learnt something new. Some participants have gone on to immediately apply the skills learned whilst teaching their current learners, and there has already been discussion on the WhatsApp group about what techniques to use in certain situations. Some of the things that people have taken away with them have been: seeing how to break down teaching the different strokes into small manageable steps, and how to put them all back together again into a whole; the use of language when teaching, and thinking about how what we mean isn’t always what the learner hears; and that now we are in contact with other teachers at similar and greater levels of experience in our area to provide support.
Many thanks to Tony Croft and Rebecca Odames from the Leicester Diocesan Guild Education Committee for organising the day, and to Moira Johnson the course Tutor and Lesley Belcher from ART for their invaluable guidance.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.