Over the last two days I’ve met 33 trainee Citizenship and History teachers from Bradford College and the University of Cumbria.
I visited both groups to deliver training on running mock trials and parliaments in the classroom – which basically involved getting them to participate in the activities and then reflect on how they would apply it in their own lessons.
Although I’m now absolutely shattered (nearly 12 hours training, the same again spent on trains) it’s been an exciting and inspirational couple of days. Each and every one of the teachers I met was enthusiastic, and they all threw themselves into role for the activities I set them.
Particular highlights included the ex-solicitor who gave a witness a very hard grilling during cross-examination, and the parliamentarian who declared that some people might ‘live forever’. In between the funny moments, I hope I gave them plenty of food for thought, and some ideas for activities they can do with their students when they get into the classroom.
The one thing that struck me more than anything was that despite the public-sector cuts and uncertainty of the future of Citizenship as a statutory subject in the curriculum, motivation and positivity amongst trainee teachers is alive and well – and that’s a pretty awesome thing to see.