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June 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 3

ISSN 1755-9715

Message from Chaz Pugliese, Director of Education and Teacher Training, Pilgrims

Dear HLT Reader,

I come to you as the newly appointed Director of Education and Teacher Training at Pilgrims. I am hugely proud to have been associated with Pilgrims for just over 20 years now, and I am both honoured and humbled to be now at its helm. To be sure, steering the Pilgrims ship (in very uncertain seas to boot!) is quite a responsibility, but I look at it as a stimulating challenge as well. 

Let me just begin by remembering my friend Jim Wright: during his tenure as Principal, Jim was truly inspirational and left a mark that will be forever indelible.  

 

Bringing Pilgrims to your home this summer!

I write with some updates on the shape of the summer and the months to come. As disjointed this moment may feel, as frustrating living in a bubble of uncertainty may be, we must go forward, the show is neverending!

Faced with an unprecedented pandemic, it was important for Pilgrims to be nimble, and to have the flexibility to shift course in a rapidly evolving situation. So, sadly, we’ve had to cancel our summer school in Canterbury, but the really good news is that this summer we’re bringing Pilgrims to your home as a big chunk of our Teacher Development programme will be available online, and that’s really exciting!

Of course, we all know teaching remotely is not the same as teaching person to person, and for many reasons. But this is also a fabulous opportunity to reimagine Teacher Development, by making our offer more accessible, and more affordable, with the myriad of tools and techniques now at our disposal. So, we think this crisis can be an impetus to break new ground in the way TD courses are delivered.

That said, our challenge, and our mission, must be to work with teachers remotely in ways that would align with our sense of identity, with our purpose, in line with our humanistic creed. In order to do so, we are limiting the number of participants in each group, and we will be working synchronously: the trainers will meet the course participants online and the training will be done ‘real time’, eve though there will be also opportunities for off-screen, asynchronous work.  Whilst there’s no doubt that remote training is a completely different experience for both the trainers and the course participants, we firmly believe that it can be made just as rich and valuable if rapport and a sense of togetherness are created, and individualized attention is provided to all participants. In this respect, all course participants will get a chance to have one on one tutorials with their trainer.

In short, our main aim is to replicate the sort of atmosphere and the buzz participants normally experience on our campus, but in a virtual environment this time. We will be separated physically, but we will be together in spirit, and that’s what matters. So, I’m proud to say that over the last few weeks we have developed a formidable array of one-week courses which will be run by some of Pilgrims’ renowned trainers and we hope you will want to join us this summer. Take a look here.

We are also focused on the future: no one has a crystal ball, no one can predict what will happen in the next few months but a question we’ve been grappling with is: how will the pandemic affect the way people teach and learn? It’s hard to know, of course, and we’re all on a steep learning curve. The most obvious is that, as the crisis continues, there will be more learning and innovation around how to work effectively online, especially in teams. And the Pilgrims family is committed to exploring this in more depth: we’re counting on your feedback to help us break new ground, find new pathways, and continue to innovate.

 

The Teacher Trainer Journal

More news: Tessa Woodward, who has edited the Teacher Trainer Journal since the first issue in 1986, and Marian Nicholson, who has collaborated with Tessa and looked after the journal’s administration, are both stepping down.

On behalf of Pilgrims, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to both Tessa and Marian for their expertise, for their generosity and for creating a journal that has established itself as a revered publication and a source of both information and inspiration for anyone interested in Teacher Education.

On a personal note, one of the things I always loved most about the journal was how it managed to branch out to feature articles about people who train in other fields, often completely different from ours. I still remember very vividly an interview that Tessa ran with a florist, and another one with a nurse, and I remember how the interviewees’ answers strongly resonated with me. So, thank you.

The TTTJ will continue to be a go-to place for Teacher Educators, but there will be a few changes. First of all, the journal will be published only in its digital form. Secondly, it will come out twice yearly (hosted by HLT), and finally, I will take over as the new editor. I’m aware Tessa’s shoes are pretty large to fill, but I’m ready to give it my best shot to ensure the TTTJ will continue to thrive. In my new capacity as the incumbent TTTJ editor let me take this opportunity to invite you to contribute to the journal. Please send your submissions here: editor@tttjournal.co.uk

Last bit of news (yes it’s been a rather eventful six months!): as of June 2020, Pilgrims will be moving to Oxford, where all our TD courses will take place from now on.

That’s all from me. I wish you all a peaceful summer,  and I hope many of you will want to welcome our team of amazing trainers into your homes! In the meantime, look out for the webinars, interviews, that Pilgrims trainers will be giving in the weeks leading to the summer. Stay in touch!

 

Best wishes

Chaz Pugliese

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