Early in February, 17 Professional Members traveled from as far afield as Montana, Tennessee, and South Carolina and as close as New York State, Rhode Island, and Maine to participate in our 2020 Instructors Certification course. All participants had already accomplished Level 2 Professional Waller certification. Ten of the group arrived eager to add the art and craft of teaching to their impressive walling credentials. Another six returned to reflect on and share their teaching experience.
Mornings were spent at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston, where facilitator Steve Jonas guided us through the social dynamics of teaching and learning, beginning with a reflection on the importance of presence. Throughout he challenged us to locate our attention in the situation at hand. In addition, Steve encouraged us to maintain a helicopter view of the learning situation and to proactively co-facilitate learning with our instructional partners. Instructors deepened their understanding of the characteristics of adult learners, as well as of the differing learning styles that individuals inherently bring; human beings learn across a spectrum of preferences, including visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile. Stone Trust instructors endeavor to teach across the full spectrum.
The group spent afternoons at The Stone Trust Center in the where many of our workshops take place. Each instructor taught at least one session on topics ranging from opening and closing the day to the five basic rules, from building the first lift to copes to cheek ends to stone shaping… Teaching to experts (the group included at least two Master Wallers) may have felt daunting at times to new instructors. A focus on teaching for clear outcomes and an emphasis on providing meaningful feedback helped keep all of us at ease, although we sure felt cold in the foundation of the 1862 Barn! Active learning and ready humor helped keep everyone warm(ish).
Demand for Stone Trust workshops keeps growing–along the Northeast Seaboard, in the Midwest, and along the Pacific Coast. The Stone Trust is actively working to build our instructor pool and to support their progression through the stages of walling certification. We need our ten new instructors and feel grateful for everyone’s efforts to join us made they took the time to join us!
Meet our newest instructors: Benjamin Maxfield, Dan Morales-Walsh, Curtis Gray, Michael Santini, Robert Faraone, Patrick Lemmon, Russell Autrey, Justin Boyle, Jeff Fairfield, and Peter Welch (links unavailable).