A personal perspective by an ITTS bell handling training participant (M1).
ITTS have been promoting their Association of Ringing Teacher (ART) training courses by various means for the past few years. I have read some of their, seemingly, all-pervading communications about becoming a Ringing Teacher and, increasingly, took more interest. When the opportunity to attend Over Church materialised the reality of our local ringing world seemed to hold me back. To fully participate and fully complete this ART training it seemed you needed to;
There are currently two courses in the ITTS Ringing Teacher training programme. Module 1 (M1) and Module 2 (M2).
Completing all of any one module (not just the day course) means you can become an ART Ringing Teacher (become an Associate Member of ART). Completing all of both modules (not just the day courses) means you can become a Full Member.
When I had finally convinced Jeanette (who is also my wife, as it happens!) to act as my Mentor (Jeanette fulfilled the requirements above!) we applied on-line for the training and after the usual web-page sign-up issues we were eventually registered to attend (the last two places). There were 18 attendees (presumably half aspiring Ringing Teachers and their Mentors). Lesley Boyle acted as the Over Church tower’s ‘camp host’ ably arranging tea, cakes, soup sandwiches and support. The two M1 course tutors were Roger Booth and Gill Hughes. Jeanette and I had previously rung with Gill and we all actually remembered where and when. The course was structured to be about 15% theory (classroom like) with 85% practical (ringing). This theory/practical mix worked very well.
The classroom sessions covered;
The Practical Rope Time included the right safety messages for new ringers. We learned instructional techniques for ringing backstroke, then hand stroke and then joining the two strokes together. The course covered instructional techniques for ringing up and then ringing down. The final practical session concerned the identification then possible rectification techniques for bell handling issues. This last topic was particularly interesting for me as people watched my wandering right hand – But I’m working on that! My favourite practical parts of the course were; “How to pass the tail to another ringer while the bell is being rung” then the scary “Drop your rope while ringing then pick it up” – not everybody wanted to do that (but I did!)
My take away message for the course was that it was, indeed, worth doing. Being in the same room as others with the same goals was quite inspiring. We may well move to accreditation (Teacher for me and Mentor for Jeanette) but that’s yet to come.
Bob Cox, Walsoken, Wisbech
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