Group in teaching environment listener to speaker

Face to Face is back!

Now that our country is slowly returning to a new normal, we have been given the go ahead to return to face-to-face workshops. Obviously so much has changed, but it is so wonderful to see people in real life rather than on a screen. I cannot dismiss online learning though; it still has so much to offer.

Preparation for Face-to-Face workshops takes much longer.

  • I thought I had it covered when I finished laminating and adding Velcro to my numerous resources. Now I must add in extra time to “anti-bac” everything before and after. I do both (before and after) because I have a terrible memory and twice is always better than Covid.
  • Risk assessments must be clear, on both sides. I need to be safe, knowing that settings have risk assessments in place and settings need to know that I am safe, having had my vaccinations and booster and that I agree to their policies, such as wearing a face covering, if required.

Face to face is back.

  • You can’t beat being in the same room as your participants, especially if they are in their own setting. They are in familiar territory with cues and prompts surrounding them. They are usually more relaxed and confident in asking questions that are particular to their own environment. I can see first-hand how the setting works, and existing examples of communication are easily accessible.
  • I get to bring so many goodies, which I believe are essential to learning Makaton! Biscuits, chocolates, fruit, mints all go down well. Forever Covid aware, I buy treats that are individuallywrapped, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • Sharing resources – they can be easily viewed up close and handled to see how they can be used.
  • During breaks, I can chat to participants and answer questions which they may be reluctant or less confident to ask in the online environment.
  • People on the face-to-face workshops have much more in common, even if it is just the location. My opening question when greeting participants is “How was your journey here today?” a nice informal and relaxed question, which is not always applicable with online learning!

Online learning still works.

  • This relatively new (thanks to Covid) way of learning is here to stay.
  • It is accessible to so many people. I have had participants from Scotland and Somerset on the same workshop!
  • Tutors can offer a variety of delivery times (evenings and weekends)
  • Risk assessments still apply but they do not necessarily include the risk of transmission other than the manuals and certificates can sit in their envelopes until the transmission period has passed.
  • Participants, if working from home, can be more relaxed in their own surroundings, with no travelling time after the workshop has finished.

Thursday, 20 October 2022