AET is much more than a qualification or a course it truly is a journey. In the first week of the course I get lots of learners commenting on how the course is almost like therapy as we look at how your experiences of teaching have shaped you and the teacher you will become.
You may ask yourself why does it matter if your primary school teacher use to shout at you till you cried or that your science teacher at senior school use to use lots of real life stories to get you all interested. Well the fact that you still remember so clearly shows that it really does matter. Learners often almost inscribe the description of the bad teacher into their paper as the emotions are so strong. Where when learners talk about the good teacher their facial expressions show clearly how much that teacher meant to them.
The process of exploring your past experiences helps us in may ways of exploring our teaching and who we are as a teacher. Initially it helps us to understand why we have developed our personal teaching style.
I had a very good teacher on the ward where I use to work. My good teacher was a doctor with the ability to give information and educate everyone from the patients and relatives to the new registrars. He had an ability to give the same information to people at many different levels without making anyone seem stupid. He did this by coming down to their level but not in a condescending manner just differently. This made me think that in teaching it is not about dumbing down information for learners so they understand it but about changing how you tell them the information, draw diagrams, give real life scenarios, apply it to their job role or involve them ask what they understand by it.
My bad teacher was in adult education their delivery was monotone talking from a sheet of paper then we discuss what they had said. the interaction in the group was minimal as most of us had fallen asleep during their delivery. I was not motivated to learn at all and the learning I did take away was self directed study as I really needed the qualification.
Both these experiences have helped me develop my own teaching style into one that is friendly, open, interactive, exciting and motivating. I really want my learners to succeed and become good learners so it is vital to me that I show all the qualities that I want them to have as teachers – Lead by example.
So as you can see AET is more than just a train the trainer course it is about understanding what training is about and how to have the right affect on your learners so they are not just inspired by your course but also to go on and continue learning. The best teachers are the ones that are always willing to learn.