Teacher on tour

3rd January 2012 by

This summer’s Tastetastic! cycle tour is open to all ages over 18, and we’ve timed it so that any teachers in England and Wales who want to take part can volunteer. Chris Hardy, a teacher at Fulham Cross Girls’ School, tells us about his experience on tour and what it has brought to his day-to-day life, including his teaching.

I went on Otesha’s Wild West cycle tour in 2008, shortly before beginning my teacher training – and taking part in an Otesha cycle tour wasn’t only an amazing experience in itself, but it was hugely beneficial as a teacher.

Teacher Chris Hardy helps build an earthen structure while volunteering on cycle tour in 2008

I learned a huge number of skills in a short space of time. Not theoretical skills about behaviour management or educational theory, but real life skills about how to deal with a room full of people, how to grab people’s attention and how to get your message across in an engaging and entertaining way. Now I can bring that back to the classroom, it’s given me some valuable new tools and techniques.

As a tour member, you spend time living in a community, learn consensus decision making and cooking for large groups – brilliant skills for a teacher to have, and useful in your everyday life when tackling disagreements or making choices and decisions with others – including in the classroom.

You also learn how to plan and deliver a short play about sustainable life choices. This play is followed by various workshops, all of which you learn how to deliver on cycle tour.

They are mini lessons which are designed to be hands-on, engaging and educational. Having this experience before or during time teaching is invaluable and something I’m still thankful for now, two years on in my teaching career. It has given me flexibility and confidence in lesson planning and encouraged me to set up my own after-school activities and clubs.

Cycle into Summer 2012

5th December 2011 by

Do you want to make the world a better place next summer? Silly question, here’s your chance to become part of a sustainable mobile community…

Join one of Otesha’s fifth birthday summer cycle tours! Pedal across the UK visiting schools and youth clubs, organic farms, fascinating sustainability projects and plenty more. Join an inspirational team of other volunteers, excited to share and learn anything and everything about environmental and social sustainability. Get skilled up in everything from bike maintenance to consensus decision making and learn lots about sustainable and group living.

This year we’ve got three thrilling tours on offer, and a few firsts in the world of Otesha cycle tours. I suppose you want to know what the firsts are don’t you? Well, we have:

  • our first ever food-themed, three-week cycle tour
  • our first ever cycle tour performance of the Otesha play in London
  • a tour for anyone over 18!

And now you probably want to know where and when we’re going, don’t you?

Six week performing, workshop-delivering, wondrous cycle tours (age 18-28):

  • Totally Coastal …does what it says on the tin! This tour will stick close to the picturesque coastline of south-east England. Pedalling across lowlands and up and down small hills, the team will be heading to the heart of East Anglia before venturing into London for our cycle tour debut in the capital, and a grand finale performance! (15th June – 28th July)
  • Western Quest Whiz around the west on your bicycle this summer.  Starting in south Wales, this tour will pedal a wee way north into England and then back south through the rolling hills of Somerset and Devon before meeting the pirates of Penzance. (10th August – 22nd September)

Three-week, food-themed, workshop-delivering, volunteering and learning extravaganza (age 18+):

  • Tastetastic! Lick your lips and get in gear for our first ever food tour. Tantalise your taste buds on our Tastetastic! tour as you pedal across southern Scotland for three weeks exploring food sustainability. (4th – 25th August)

If you’re 18+  and passionate about creating a sustainable future, then we’d love you to ride with us. It’s first come first served, so apply early if you want to guarantee a place.

Watch this space for tales from our cycle tour alumni. In the meantime follow the links on this blog to find out lots more on our website.

If you have any questions or would just like to have a chat about the tours, then give us a call on 020 7377 2109 or email cycletours@otesha.org.uk. We always love to hear from you.


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