“You are members of the profession as of now.”
This was one of the messages to our first year BEd trainees in a lecture welcoming them to Plymouth University. Later that day, during a session with Peter Yeomans my phone started buzzing with trainees following me on twitter. The following day it began buzzing again, as trainees on only the second day of their course started sharing questions and learning during a day in school with ICT evangelist Russell Prue.
These tweeting trainees are jumping straight into a community of discussion that is pushing their field forward, a community they have much to take from, but also one to which they have something to bring. You only have to look at the ‘PGCE Survival Guide’, crowdsourced and edited by Tim Handley before he had even graduated with his PGCE, or the blogs of people like Alex Gingell to see that trainees have much to give.
What is key to this for me is that their status as learners and as members of the profession is not mutually exclusive, indeed they are inherently intertwined. When they leave us in four years time they will not be finished products, just more experienced learners.
The concepts of ‘learners as learners’ and ‘teachers as teachers’ have been being re-framed for a while. I hope that these trainees will come to be further evidence that the best way to learn is by getting truly involved in the field from day one.
First year Pymouth BEd students can be found on the twitter list I have set up.
Please tweet me @oliverquinlan if you fit on either of these lists and want to be added to connect with other trainees.