Ronnie Houselander-Cook is an ECT art teacher here in the UK and responded to my call on social media for ECT’s to blog in return for a free subscription to The Arty Teacher. An ECT teacher is an ‘Early Careers Teacher’ and a term used here in the UK.
ECT art teachers have contacted me from all over the globe in the last few years wanting support and advice and it is my hope that the blog posts from Ronnie will be both interesting to them and inspiring. She certainly has some ambitious plans. I asked Ronnie the following questions:
Where do you teach?
I teach at Weston College which is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ Further Education institution in the Southwest of England. I currently teach and Co-Ordinate the UAL Level 3 Creative Practice: Art, Design & Communication course. I recently graduated my Level 5 in Education, which I was supported to complete alongside my teaching practice.
What did you study as a degree/area of specialism?
I studied BA (hons) Fine Art (2017) and MA Fine Art (2018) at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I specialised in large scale painting and painted installation using tactile and provisional materials. I am also starting my Doctor of Education at UWE Bristol in October 2021. During this course, I will be focusing on creativity and how to implement creative teaching, learning and assessment processes within education.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
In the Further Education Sector, there are many challenges. However, the most prominent challenge for many teachers is the lack of time! This is why I am grateful for the Arty Teacher scholarship. I hope this scholarship will give me inspiration for practical ideas and starter activities which is something I find hard as I am more confident teaching theory
What are you most looking forward to this year?
From February half term, all level 3 year 1 learners are introduced to their Final Major Project brief! This is the summative assessment for these learners and there is a real buzz around the college. The fact the unit concludes with a professional showcase that allows learners to collaborate across all years and creative pathways is fantastic.
What are your strengths as an ECT Art Teacher?
In my department, I am one of the go-to people for troubleshooting tech problems. I am probably one of those weird teachers that really enjoyed the blended learning teaching model. I love being able to experiment and explore EdTEch. We are really lucky at the college to have a culture of innovation and experimentation.
Why did you want to teach art?
I decided to teach art because I have always had a positive education experience within the context of Art & Design. I love being able to meet new people, exhibit artwork and work with the wider community and becoming an Art Teacher allowed me to do all of these things.