“Everyone Learns Differently”
That is our mantra at Fishing for Schools. Immediately you may jump to the conclusion that this purely applies to the many hundreds of young people who come through and are taught within our initiative each year.
…and you would not be wrong…but.
Teaching is – and always has been, a two-way street. Styles, methods, approaches, content – all have their part to play in how we get our key points across. Not one of us has the perfect approach…nor could we ever hope to know it all. This, and the sheer excitement of imparting what we know or have accumulated in our life experiences, is the major factor in coaching or teaching.
Angling is no different.
Neither is working as a team.
Goodness knows how many years ago, when I started Fishing for Schools, I was determined that this was not to be elitist, out of touch, niche – worse; that we would have some sort of hierarchy where everyone is equal…but some more equal than others.…Thus, whilst I am Director, I am painfully aware that I am absolutely no better than the coaches. I have stuff to learn and more often than not they are my tutors.
So why this “hand wringing” and admission….
Well, I organised a CPD day (continuous Professional Development…OK?) at the fabulous Brick Farm Fishery at Herstmonceux for the F4S team of coaches.
The offer came via the new (ish) Angling Trust Southern Coordinator (and facilitator!) Graham Mabey, when we met up for a day’s fishing at Broadlands …not trout or salmon, I might add, but trotting the gentle roach and silver flash dace. What fun it was and so productive for both of us.
We made a pact that we would work together, bring Graham’s fund of knowledge and experiences in his previous world of both adult and children education into the domain of our coaches and have a bit or education and fun.
The obvious venue was Brick Farm – Danni and Phil Axell who have kindly consented to be our latest Fishing for Schools Ambassadors - were the very perfect hosts. From the pastries, continuous tea and coffee, lunch…everything: they just went far and away beyond the call of duty. Amazing. And the fishery looked superb. A distraction for the fly fishers….(or as Graham described – the Water Whippers: a bit disingenuous! Graham; we like to think we dance with angels and caress the water…)
But there was absolutely no doubt of the benefit to everyone, to come together as a group, discuss, build confidence, understand each other’s strengths – and weaknesses, and just understand different ways of connecting to not just one another but the shared experiences of reaching out to young people.
It is vital – to Fishing for Schools – and one another that the learning process is a work in progress and never stagnates.
More than that …we laughed a good deal - at ourselves mostly …but we laughed.
That, is a recipe for success in itself.
…and I should add, the combining of two key pillars within the angling community: Fishing for Schools and the Angling Trust. The more we can work together then the better the fishing world will be, collectively.
Time to get cracking and learn and work together for the good of everyone.
Charles Jardine - Director