Just got back from the ART M1 Teaching Ringing course and my head is buzzing with ideas – roll on the next practice!
It was a full day in the attractive setting of St Mary The Virgin C Of E Church at Oxenhope. The event was led by Christine who was very reassuring - yet demanding, calm - yet challenging, confident, knowledgeable, experienced and full of engaging anecdotes.
The presentations were informative relevant, and paired with the practical activities, offered a comprehensive confirmation of the who, what, when, where, why and how of teaching the wonderful ART of bellringing. I particularly enjoyed the ‘what if’s’ which aptly illustrated why it is important to know how to teach safely and why it is important to practise new skills with existing ringers in order to become confident. And then of course there are the various styles of the learners and teachers to take into consideration – it’s a complicated process!
Equally enjoyable was the company of a group of lively people who shared a common interest and a variety of experiences. We enjoyed learning how to work below the balance to teach how to raise, ring and lower, as well as getting over our fears about loose ropes and passing the rope during ringing. It was nerve-wracking to work with ‘strangers’, but isn’t that what teaching is all about?
ART are receiving numerous enquiries from learners who are interested in the ‘Ring for the King’ initiative – and lots of teachers will be needed to help them learn. It would be a shame to have interested people and not enough teachers to keep them interested. Mind you, teaching is a big responsibility, especially in the current climate of immediate gratification and the need for speed – one issue raised was the speed at which new learners benefit from learning and the value of a flying start.
My teaching accreditation can take up to two years to complete, with logs to complete and evidence to gather, and I have been paired up with a mentor to help and support me. All I need now is a learner …
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.