On Friday I sat for a couple of hours along with other colleagues being entertained by Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild. The circus was in town and the time passed rapidly – too rapidly. About 50% of what they showed was new to me – especially the use of some old- and frankly disparaged software – Powerpoint. The other 50% was new in its use – or forced me to think again about just how effective I was being in using it. Now for me, who expects to be cutting edge, that was a significant hit rate. However, many other ICT gurus could do a spot like this and give a list of possible new approaches. What makes the Tim and Sarah show different?
There is an absolute warmth about their delivery, we are part of the act, we are laughed with, we are encouraged, we are complimented, we are given credit for everything we get right. The pace always seems right. There are pauses for reflection, there is encouragement to explore and expand. They invite us to use our imagination and creativity. We have lots of FUN!
In a week of doom and gloom, where I watched as one aspect of progressive education was put in danger after another, in which I felt the pain of others as they saw what they had worked for, and indeed their very work evaporating I ended on a positive note.
Tim and Sarah are without doubt great at what they do, part of that comes, inevitably from the regular delivery and freedom to do this. However I also felt that many others in the audience, and amongst the body of teachers currently under so much pressure could to an extent do the same – look back at paragraph two and tell me what there is not part of the armoury of a good teacher?
Tim and Sarah tell it very very well, but if they alone are telling it in this way its not enough – we need to be telling the story properly, we need to be upping our game with assurance and we need to be giving the learners the chance to enjoy the fun.
It would be superb to feel that at the end of each learning event our kids went out feeling like we did at the end of Tim and Sarah’s exposition – and you know something- they could!