Here is this week’s post from Taylor Cornes, a first year primary student at the University of Worcester.
A couple of months ago an opportunity arose at my University to complete a Phase 1 Signalong Foundation Course.
I didn’t know much about Signalong so it is fair to say that after applying for the course I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first session involved a brief explanation on what Signalong is, what the charity does, and how our instructor found herself learning and then teaching it. The moment I discovered the story behind why my instructor joined the Signalong team was when my reasoning behind taking the course changed. Initially, I wanted to take the course to enhance my CV and increase my chances of being employed after I graduated, but the story my instructor told us left me feeling inspired and I couldn’t wait to start learning.
I signed up for the 6-week-long course and I can honestly say that I’d recommend taking the course to anyone. I felt extremely anxious in the introductory sessions, but as the weeks progressed I soared in confidence and it radiated from each and every one of us in the class. Many times when I arrived home to my parents, I’d find myself teaching them what I had been taught in the Signalong class and I started to try and embed the knowledge of signs that I had learnt into my everyday life so that I wouldn’t forget any of it.
In the concluding weeks of my training, I was practically living and breathing Signalong. I would practise the signs in my seminars, lunch times and even at family meals. I found a real passion for showing people what I had been learning about, and transferring my knowledge onto them. Learning Signalong motivated me to consider ways in which I could adapt my teaching to make it more inclusive, and how I could make learning Signalong exciting and engaging for children I might teach it to.
In a morning assembly during my Autumn serial days at the school I am now attending for my block practice, I noticed the children making gestures with their hands when greeting the headmaster. It was only once I’d completed my Signalong Foundation Course that I realised they were using Signalong! I spoke with my instructor who then informed me that she taught Signalong to many children and teachers in that exact school which explained why they were signing in the assemblies.
I am now on the waiting list for the Phase 2 training and I am desperate to start learning again. My whole experience of Phase 1 Signalong was beyond amazing and I could not encourage budding teachers enough to look into taking the course. It is something you will definitely not regret and is worth every penny!
Taylor Cornes, University of Worcester @0hitsyou