Although I have been aware of the ITTS Scheme, I have had no experience of it – so I went along as an interested Observer. Less ringers than expected arrived for the Day Course, so I spent the day being a learner, a Teacher, a Mentor and, oh yes, an Observer. We had three “Teachers” of varying ability, and it was good fun being an (awkward) learner.
As a result of poor recruitment in our area I have done little teaching recently, so it was interesting to learn about current best practice. It seems to me that ITTS owes a lot to Pam Copson’s excellent work, which I found very helpful when teaching batches of children several years ago. I liked the “bell down” rope handling exercises, which were new to me, and look forward to trying them out on a real learner.
I enjoyed the experience of mixing teachers and mentors, and we exchanged a lot of useful and relevant hint s and tips. If I have a criticism of the ITTS scheme it would be that it is too wordy, with over thirty pages printed out before this one day course. I would also question the requirements upon the mentors. It seems that they are being asked to do a lot of quality control, over 60 initials / signatures in the Teacher Training Handbook.
However there is no doubt in my mind of the benefit of having a written curriculum, and standardised teaching methods. It should make life a lot easier for learners if they can be taught the same things in the same way, regardless of who teaches them.
So thank you Pip for an interesting and enjoyable day.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.