The Learning Experience

  • Learning should be a pleasurable, positive and constructive experience for the students; it is, after all, for their benefit.
  • Teaching should be conducted by the most appropriate person in the most appropriate environment. The most experienced ringer might not be the best person to teach newcomers. The environment should be comfortable and create interest.
  • Learning is not an opportunity for the teacher to demonstrate his or her own prowess! They are merely there to facilitate the learning process.
  • As far as possible, let the students work out answers for themselves; the answers will have more validity for them as a result.
  • The aim is that at the end of the practice night each student knows or understands more, or performs better, than they did at the beginning.

Planning

  • Plan what you want to do beforehand. Try and find out who will be attending but, even if you have to wait to see who turns up, don’t start ringing until you have a clear idea of what you are going to do. Try to keep everyone involved in some way throughout the practice.
  • Prepare teaching aids beforehand. “A picture is worth a thousand words” – true!
  • Try and group students by ability so that they are not intimidated by the standard of other ringers. However, ensure that sufficient proficient ringers are included in each exercise to enable it to succeed.
  • Try to arrange that each student stays involved throughout the practice even when they are not ringing.

Communication

  • Make sure everyone knows and understands what is going to happen and what their role is.
  • Brief the students before each exercise on what they are going to do.
  • Use language and terms that the student understands. Never threaten, bully or intimidate them.
  • Provide constructive prompts during each exercise if necessary.
  • Provide feedback for the students after each exercise. Tell them what they did well and explain why anything went wrong. Try to let them work it out for themselves. Explain to them what they need to do next time to achieve a better result.
  • Try to arrange to have an experienced ringer sitting with learners while they are not ringing so that they can explain what is going on and point out what is going well and not so well, and why.
  • Sum up progress for each student at the end of practice. Give them something to think about and a target for the net practice.