On Saturday 16th April, sixteen slightly apprehensive people met in Kineton church to learn about teaching people to ring. No-one really knew what to expect and how the day would pan out or how they would get on! The initially theory session indicated that some people were confused as to the difference between beer and bier, the answer being one would be very welcome in a ringing chamber, the other not so much. We also learnt that Graham hadn't been born (quite) when cars where invented but the methods used to teach bell ringing hadn't changed an awful lot in that time, until quite recently.
We learnt the importance of perspective when introducing people to bells: This bell is small, this bell is far away. There was a lot of tension (a good thing) in the ringing chamber during the first practical session but no separation (also a good thing)!
We talked through various ideas of how to correct handling errors but apparently using electric shock treatment is not acceptable. We learnt that teaching people to ring “is not a sausage machine, you can’t do everyone the same”
Graham Nabb, ART
Comments from participants:
“I had a basic knowledge of teaching, what I've found really helpful is teaching hand stroke, it also makes you think about your own ringing style”
”I liked the sandwiches”
“ I feel more confident to teach someone in a controlled manner”
“Coming from a non teaching background it's been good to see how to go about it more professionally”
“I've found it very useful and good experience”
“I wish this had been around when I was taught to ring!”
“I've stopped being scared of teaching my first learners!”
“It's eye opening and I realise there is a sensible way to teach with no danger”
“I wish I'd been on this years ago”
This is the sixth module 1 course I have been on, obviously a slow learner, and the comments afterwards are pretty similar from people who may have been initially sceptical and thought they already knew everything there is to know about teaching. There are varying views of ITTS but from my experience the negative views seem to come from those who have never tried it. Why not go on a course and then you will have a better understanding of what you are being negative about! It is not a prescriptive teaching technique that you must follow on pain of death, it is flexible, structured, progressive and positive so what have you got to lose?!
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.