Students turn tables with Teach a Teacher project 

Tutors from Solihull College & University Centre have introduced an innovative ‘Teach a Teacher’ project to build and develop student-teacher relationships. 

Depending on GCSE results, many students study English and Maths alongside their vocational course. The idea started when a construction student came to tutor Rachel Arnold’s English lesson and told her: “I wish you could see how good I am at plastering in my practical sessions. It’s only maths and English that I struggle with.”  

It was evident to Rachel that the student wanted to be recognised in a different working environment. This led to the creation of the project – an opportunity for learners to teach their vocational trade to their Maths or English tutor whilst being assessed in an enjoyable way. The ‘Teach a Teacher’ concept was brought to life by Rachel and Plastering tutor Carl Pedley. 

Tutors were taught by plastering students how to patch a hole in a wall. Groups were competitively working hard to ensure their tutor’s wall was the best. The students were able to pick up on the embedded English and Maths skills and all felt more confident in their own skill, and consequently better prepared for future assessment and employment. 

Rachel comments: “It is so important for us as teachers to put ourselves in the shoes of our students, so that we are better prepared to teach them in an engaging and authentic way. Through this experience I have been able to better connect with my learners, build trust and have fun learning a new skill!” 

Michael Battle was one of the students who took part. He adds: “I enjoyed teaching my teacher how to plaster because it was something different and quite challenging. This would be great to do again.” 

The activity was overwhelmingly successful for students and tutors alike. The College hopes to repeat the process in the future with other departments and aims to continue strengthening tutor and student rapport with the help of innovative projects such as this. 

Video edited by Carl Pedley.