Hattie Speed

What subjects do you teach?

I teach one leisure activity, Furniture National Saturday Club (with the hope to expand this!).

How many years have you been teaching?

I have been running recreational craft courses since 2017, through my initiative This Girl Makes, and have been teaching with Activate Learning since November 2019.

What do you enjoy about teaching adults?

I enjoy teaching adult education courses because it makes me realise age is just a number when it comes to learning knowledge or a skill. When people come to the courses, they bring their own knowledge and experience, and it makes the learning journey so much richer. The teacher often learns from the students, which highlights how education should be a collaborative experience.

What got you into furniture?

I studied product design at A Level and really enjoyed designing and making a chair. I enjoyed the creative, but practical aspects of the project. I went on to study for an art foundation, specialising in 3D design, which heightened my interest in furniture design and make. I heard about Rycotewood Furniture Centre and realised it was the perfect course for me! I really enjoy working with my hands and being able to ‘think through making’. I find it very therapeutic and in many ways it was a form of occupational therapy for me, following the death of my dad when I was young. I have since gone on to work within occupational therapy as a Technical Instructor for the NHS.

What other passions do you have?

I enjoy meeting new people and believe I approach my courses in a person-centred way. I like to get to know the people I am working with and find out how best I can help and educate. Equally I believe learning is a partnership between the learner and the mentor, so I enjoy working together to find creative and fun solutions. I like to think my courses are about having fun, enjoying the process and getting lost in the creativity!