Back in Newtown, Powys, on Friday delivering Continuing Professional Development to primary school teachers from the region on behalf of NAWR Arts and Education Network Mid and West Wales. The workshop, based in Oriel Davies, is all about using i-Pads to make photographs, edit using PS Express, and create storyboards.
Spending the day with primary school teachers is always an enlightening experience. These professionals spend each day crossing curricular disciplines in helping children see their world as a connected and exciting place to be. Suddenly making storyboards on the i-Pad becomes less about design and more about the environment, advertising, creative writing, non-verbal communication, Geography, History, and Citizenship. Meanwhile a photography exercise on ‘Selfies’ morphs into a project on superheroes, anatomy, self-esteem, belonging, citizenship, and nature. There seems to be no end to the inventiveness and resourcefulness of these talented people.
In all my workshops I believe in giving people the time and the space to play. It’s no good being bombarded with handouts and theory without being able to practice. I want all my participants to get hands-on, and by the end of the day feel that they can immediately deliver their new found knowledge to their students. It’s no good telling teachers what their students should be experiencing, it’s much better instead for teachers to experience it for themselves. The average CPD course for teachers involves sitting around a table listening so I don’t think anyone expected to be outside quite as much as they were. Having space to think and absorb is a great stress reliever too.
We’re hoping to deliver this course again soon to other regions in the NAWR network so that more teachers across Mid and South West Wales get to add to their skills portfolio. Watch this space!