One reason AOTOS exists is to let us broaden our horizons by exchanging ideas and experience. We do this on a large scale at our conferences, on a smaller scale at our area days, and locally with pods.
The aim of pods is to link you up with the members who live nearest you. Once you are allocated an area – North, Central, South West, South East, Scotland or Overseas – every member is also added to a pod, based on their postcode. We ask for a volunteer to co-ordinate each pod: they will email the members to try to organise meetings – currently via Zoom!
Current AOTOS members can find a list of pods and their co-ordinators and members in the Members Only Section of the website.
In late 2020, we launched two new pods – one for students and one for new teachers.
AOTOS has recently been attracting more student members so it seemed appropriate to form a Student Pod to cater for the specific needs of students who are just beginning to think about starting out as teachers. At the first meeting on 18 January 2021, Kathleen McKellar Ferguson and Janice Thompson met six students from all over the UK, all with great enthusiasm for the group.
Kathleen says: 'There was a clear desire to learn about how to start teaching as the students all said we were providing something which isn’t available in their undergraduate and postgraduate student courses.
"We are going to follow this up starting at the beginning with 'how to teach young singers in the primary age group'. We will then take this forward to teaching teenagers and late teens all the way through to keen adults. The possibilities are endless! The students seemed to be keen to get together and I have a feeling that, through word of mouth, this group will grow arms and legs!"
To find out more, please contact Kath (email@example.com)
New Teacher Pod
The New Teacher Pod is aimed at supporting members who are just starting out on their teaching journey. Hosted by Sarah Taylor (Central Area Representative) and Joy Naylor (Professional Development Course Co-ordinator), our regular online meetings are a great way to meet other new teachers, share thoughts and ideas and ask any questions you may have about singing teaching.
If for any reason you want to opt out of pods completely, please contact the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will remove you from the pod list and ask the pod co-ordinator not to contact you.
If you'd prefer to be part of a different pod, just email email@example.com.