This is a post for those of you who will be starting your teacher training this September with Hibernia College. I am going to explain the on-line and onsite classes, and which I preferred and why.
The Hibernia College teacher training course is comprised of onsite classes, and online classes and tutorials. You will have a certain amount of on-line lessons which you must complete each week. You also need to post to the on-line forums, to answer a question posed by your class tutor based on the lesson you have studied. There are also weekly live tutorials, which you must attend at the time they are on at, as they are interactive in nature. It is different for everyone, but each online lesson used to take me two-three hours to complete. I enjoyed the way you could do the lessons in your own time. I often did an hour in the morning, then an hour or two in the evening. It is very flexible in that regard.
I found the onsite classes to be the most beneficial however. Our onsite classes were six hours in duration. We had the onsite classes on an almost weekly basis from semester two onwards. The onsite classes were particularly helpful in the run up to assignments. It was of great comfort and support to be able to talk with others in your class and to share ideas and advice. On-line studying can at times be rather isolating, and that’s why the on-site classes are an imperative part of the course.
I found some subjects needed the onsite classes more so than others. I thought the maths and English onsite classes were particularly useful. Some subjects need to be taught in person and I found the on-site classes made a big difference for me with regards to English and maths.
The best part of the onsite classes were all the games and concrete resources ideas we received from the tutor. I have used so many ideas and lessons in subbing which I learned of at the on-sites. The art onsite, for example, was absolutely marvellous. It was all hands activities for us. We made clay pots, hessian art, constructions, etc. The best way to learn is through doing and this onsite certainly proved that. The science onsite was another memorable one. I have used the experiments we were shown at this onsite so many times since. The teachers are really helpful too at the onsite classes in the run up to assignments being due. The teaching practice onsite classes are essential. The tutor explains all about teaching practice, the themes, modular plans, etc. I would have been very confused for teaching practice one but for the onsite class! Our tutors at the classes were all current and experienced teachers and so their advice and experience was invaluable to us as student teachers.
Personally, I preferred the onsite classes, they are the lessons which have stuck with me, and the ideas which I have used over and over again since. I think there is just the right combination of online and onsite classes however. There simply wouldn’t be time for anymore onsite classes with the amount of reading, assignments and teaching practice to be covered in the course. I hope this helps those of you who will be starting with Hibernia College, best of luck to you all, and congratulations for being chosen, it is not an easy process!