I became an Into Film Ambassador in 2018 after attending a hands on animation CPD workshop with Into Film and Africa in Motion, which coincided with the launch of the Animating Africa resource. The participants I met that day were so enthusiastic about using film in the classroom that I quickly realised I'd not only found ‘my people' but I'd stumbled across an organisation that genuinely aligned with both my values and my approach to using film.
Being a media teacher or a practitioner who fully believes in using film in the classroom can be a lonely experience and one of the best things about being an ambassador for Into Film is the network of like minded individuals who are all shooting towards the same goal. The versatile nature of the medium means that there are so many ways to incorporate it valuably and meaningfully into the classroom. Being an ambassador allows me to share ideas, be inspired by the community and ultimately grow as a film practitioner in a way that feels organic.
I would recommend that any teacher get involved. I didn't know what to expect at first but by being open and diving in head first I have been able to bring so much to the young people I work with.Education Ambassador, Kerry Abercrombie
Teacher's are under a lot of pressure and one of my favourite things about using Into Film services - from the Into Film Festival to the free resources - is that everything is confidently and simply based around helping teachers and young people make the most of all available opportunities.
One memorable example I have is a profoundly simple one where I was asked to participate in a feedback session with one ambassador from each nation. We were given some points to consider beforehand but instead of going through each one formulaically, every ambassador got to speak through their thoughts and reactions extensively. The responses from Into Film after that were of a very high calibre and always sought to further understand the pressures facing the profession, the classroom environment, the range of pupils using services and our own individual priorities. That was when it struck me - Into Film genuinely want to listen to teachers. What a breath of fresh air!
I feel the best way for me to advocate for Into Film is by being an active and loud user of the services. If I use something in class and it works well I will happily shout about it to other film practitioners (and anyone else who will listen!). We also aim to amplify the voices of our young people by sharing their involvement and successes in relation to Into Film and our Into Film Club specifically.
Being an Education Ambassador has definitely had an impact on my own professional development. At a base level, the courses and formal learning opportunities are first class - despite a degree in film and almost a decade of teaching film in the classroom I still come away from every course with some new ideas or approaches. More generally, the inspiration from other ambassadors is a huge driving force to continue to do more, dig deeper and go bigger.
I would recommend that any teacher get involved. I didn't know what to expect at first but by being open and diving in head first I have been able to bring so much to the young people I work with.
Teaching is hard and teaching with film can be daunting and isolating, so we all need someone in our corner. Having Into Film at your back is like having your own teaching cheerleaders!Education Ambassador, Kerry Abercrombie
Kerry's club at Larbert High School won Into Film Club:12 and Over at the 2020 Into Film Awards and she was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2019. Entries are currently open for the 2022 Awards until 31 March and for inspiration on getting started, head to our recent article that explored the above two categories through tips, resources and inspiring words from educators.