Volunteering: ATE Monitor Training, as told by an Instructor

We asked two people who were part of the 2019 Monitor Training Course for their reflections. Will was one of the instructors on the course, while Matilda was one of the trainees. Here’s Will’s perspective. You can read Matilda’s point of view here.

When I arrived at Abberley Hall two things came to my mind. 1) I wonder how many counties you can see that clock tower from??? (after much staff debate, everyone else had clearly been pondering the same question, we found out the answer to be 6) and 2) How is it we’re going to take 24 trainees and transform them into Monitors in just a week?!

I was excited but also a little nervous to be swapping 8-year-old boys for real life adults. Would they be enthusiastic in the games, songs and activities? Would they be entertained for the entirety of meals by the mazes on the back of Kellogg’s boxes? However, any worries I had were soon forgotten. Everyone threw themselves fully into all that we had to offer. This included; maybe some of the most aggressive boisterous games of shoe the horse I have ever witnessed, the making of lots of wonderful handicrafts and the exercising of everyone’s grey matter courtesy of some riddles. What was also amazing to see was the way that over the week everyone embraced the ATE ethos. The trainees came from a wide range of backgrounds and all throughout the week they used their different skills to come together and work as a team. Whether it was performing their exquisite ‘experimental’ fairy tales or discussing their thoughts on the daily lecture topics, it was fantastic to see them taking everything in their stride and giving it their all.

Of course, all this wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing staff team! Zoe and Patrick’s infectious ATE office energy was felt throughout the entire of the centre, Pippa and Sam offered valuable insight into how different (or sometimes similar?) the trainees were to school children and Rachel bought in a huge amount of ATE experience to keep us on our toes. With all this, and much more, going on Emily was somehow able to keep us all sane and make sure we were all doing our jobs. In summary, it was a crazy, fun and extremely valuable week for everyone involved. Bring on the summer!!!

If Will’s words of wisdom have whetted your appetite, you can find out more about our Monitor Training Course here. Staff, if you would like to help out on our next training course, you can register your interest by emailing Patrick.

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