I’m a speech and language therapist who accepted the offer from work for funding to train and become a Makaton Regional Tutor. That was the start of a journey from being a user to becoming a trainer.
There have been times when to get to this point (becoming a Makaton Tutor), well let’s just say ‘not always easy’. There will be some of you who glide through, being naturally good at signing or just very quick learners and excellent presenters. For me it was getting rid of old and sometimes completely incorrect habits on the signing front, fine tuning my drawing skills for symbols, and trying to retain all the information. Though I am used to presenting and running training with work, so that helped.
You will need to be like Mary Poppins, ‘practically perfect in every way’, by the end of your residential course (part 1). But with the friends you’ll make on the way, lots of drinks (note I haven’t said what type, but you need to be able to think clearly until Thursday evening on the residential!), existing friends, colleagues and family support, it is possible to get through. I’m living proof of this!
The senior tutors who run the residential are there to help get you through and they do try their best to help, coach, guide and support everyone with this. They are skilled at keeping straight faces! Really look and consider everything you’re asked to complete prior to attending, and be able to give 100% whilst you’re there. I have made some lovely friends on the residential (part 1) and then on the part 2 (completed locally to you).
I feel really pleased to be able to learn more about Makaton, improve my skills and in turn provide a better service to those I work with. My advice for anyone wanting to take this journey to become a Makaton Tutor is:
• Be able and confident talking and presenting to people. You could be excellent at it but try it out on colleagues, friends and family first if it isn’t something you are used to.
• Makaton really do mean it when they say learn your signs and symbols!
• The successes are great but everyone will slip up somewhere, it’s all valuable learning.
• You have to be able to really focus all of your attention whilst on the residential: stamina and resilience help.
Good luck to any of you going for it.