We welcomed three future Teachers to the Imagination Lab, as part of their Teacher Training Course with Roehampton University

“We are encouraged to do immersive and hands-on teaching, no barriers and freedom in expression. Nothing is pre-determined.”

Lucy, Teacher in training

We sat down with Lucy, Annia and Karissa from Roehampton University at the Imagination Lab to talk about what inspired them to become teachers, why imagination in education matters and what kind of teachers they aspire to be. These three future teachers volunteered at a Lab Liftoff half term holiday camps, working with children aged 7-12 years old and iOi workshop leaders to explore coding, robotics and problem solving at the Imagination Lab across this series of skills-based workshops. Read on for what they had to say:

What made you choose to become a Teacher in Primary Education?

Lucy says:

It’s creative! Within Design Technology, which is my main focus, we are given a lot of freedom to plan our lessons and there’s a lot of opportunity to gain experience through internships.

Annia says:

I couldn’t imagine doing a 9 – 5 job. I would get disengaged and I can’t see myself in any other profession. This is what I was always meant to do.

Karissa says:

I always loved working with children but I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do. It was my friends that really inspired me to do it, they suggested I look into teaching. As a child that’s all I wanted to do.

What is the most valuable skill you have gained from your time volunteering at the Imagination Lab with us?

Lucy says:

The most valuable skill I have gained throughout my time observing the iOi is the child-initiated approach to teaching, which allows children to discover and learn using their own prior knowledge to decipher problems and challenges. I really appreciated the way facilitators didn’t give children immediate solutions and answers to their problems but scaffolded their learning through questioning, which enabled the children to primarily solve their issues in turn developing their independence.

Annia says:

The most valuable skill that I have gained from my teacher training placement at iOi is practical problem solving. A lot of the children used trial and error to improve their creations and it was interesting to see how they tackled a problem.

Karissa says:

The most valuable skill that I have gained during my time at iOi is creative play through coding. I’m not necessarily interested in coding myself but seeing how the children have been given the chance to problem-solve and being taught not to count failure as a negative thing has really inspired me and has really taught me to view failure positively. You don’t learn if you don’t fail.

Do you believe that imagination is crucial in education and if so, why?

Annia says:

I believe that imagination is crucial because it helps children to look at things from a different perspective and helps them to put creative subjects into a context. It also helps children to enjoy learning more as it adds an element of excitement.

Lucy says:

I think imagination is essential in all aspects of learning and everyday life. Imagination enables children to connect their thoughts, prior knowledge and skills to develop their own solutions to problems that they may face in and outside of school. Fostering creativity through imagination also enables children to develop and create their own ideas which in turn will help develop the future.

We’re holding a Volunteer Information Evening on 7 March at the Imagination Lab in Lambeth. Whether you’re an aspiring teacher wanting to gain experience working with children and families, or someone who wants to develop their own creative skills alongside like-minded people – this is a great opportunity to meet the team and to find out what we do and why we do it.

If you’re a teacher looking for Lab Learn sessions for your students, sign up to our ‘Schools and educators’ newsletter using the sign up form on this page and check out our what’s on page for sessions which are open for booking.

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