It is easy to think that because we can do, we can teach. That is not always the case but the ringers from Yorkshire, Cheshire and Northern Ireland attending the ART Module 1 course on 30th September in York learned that they can improve their training skills by understanding what to teach and how to do it effectively.
The day long course immersed us in both theory and practice and the fine bells of St Wilfrid RC (10, 18-1-21 in F) provided the space for demonstration and practical application. Our tutor Neil Donovan was ably supported by Graham Nabb and between them a good deal of experience and contemporary thinking was shared in a friendly and informal classroom style.
So what did we learn? That people expect to learn new skills in hours not months. That language should be careful, precise and aimed at achieving the right outcome and not the opposite effect. That we should break down the Whole into the Parts and then reassemble. That we should be a long way off the balance point during the first lessons. That a dancing sally is nothing to be afraid of if the tension is in the rope and not the ringer. Observation and positive feedback, repetition and reward, practicing right not wrong. Understanding how people learn and what motivates them to do so, organising lessons that are separate from regular practice – sometimes with other groups of learners and teachers. All of these and more are the factors that help deliver successful training.
The hands-on sessions in the tower offered the chance to hone our own rope skills as well as role play some very badly behaving learners. The day ended with fun handling exercises but No Spoilers here! You’ll have to attend one of these excellent ART days to find out more.
Our facilities were warm and comfortable, teaching material was good and more resources were available in the course packs and on sale. Thanks to the Clergy of St Wilfrid’s for lending their church for the day, to Neil and Graham for their expert and inspired teaching, to the local band for supplying home-made refreshment and to tower captain David Hull for bringing us all together. We finished with some well struck service ringing for Evensong.
Practical advice for teachers, right from the first lesson.