Old Market Square - Teaching

Teaching Guiding Skills

Teaching guiding skills is very much part of my life as a guide. Since April 2014 I have been teaching tour guiding courtesy of my local authority, Tower Hamlets. I take part also in other projects. Indeed, I am finding increasingly diverse contexts in which I can bring guide training to bear!

Such training should not be seen purely within the context of tour guiding. Training in guiding skills develops presentation skills, as well as skills in leadership and people management. It helps develop research techniques such as collating and prioritising material. Moreover such training builds confidence in both teamwork and individual performance.

Tower Hamlets Tour Guiding courses

I teach three courses through Idea Store Learning, the adult education service at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. These courses give basic guiding skills to newcomers, and they give desirable CPD to experienced guides. To both groups they provide a deeper experience of the real East End.

Interested? Details of the courses are HERE.


I’m becoming involved in various projects to teach guiding skills. If you would like to discuss ideas for a guide training project, please contact me: details HERE.

George Green’s School, Isle of Dogs

In July-August 2018 I trained some pupils at George Green’s School to present a circular tour of the area around the school. They did the tour, followed a week later by a presentation to the Friends of Island History Trust. We hope that this will be the beginning of a greater awareness of the Island at street level.

St Peter in the Forest, Walthamstow

In early 2021 I trained a group of volunteers at the Walthamstow church of St Peter in the Forest. The training had two golas. First that they could give a tour of the church. Second, we worked on how they could create their own tours of the local area. I devised a ten-week course based on elements of the courses I teach at Tower Hamlets. We began with classes on Zoom for the first five weeks, but then got into the classroom – and indeed onto the streets – for the second half. This was a part of the church’s strategy for increased outreach made possible by Heritage Lottery Funding.

Overseas Schools

I’ve devised and participated in guide training workshops intended to give overseas students experience of tour guiding. The projects were at a basic level, aimed at giving them essential presentation skills. The students can take these skills home with them. Later in life they will be interviewed for university and jobs, and will face other situations where they have to give account of themselves. Presentation skills will be invaluable to them.

I’ve participated in one particular project with the UK Educational Development Agency, which has seen myself and fellow guide Licia Sisalli training students to give a guided tour in the City of London. The workshop takes the route in stages, and includes visits additional to the tour project!

In 2019 I and fellow guides Marilyn GreeneJoyce Gendall and Sharon Powell undertook a project for the British International School. This involved training groups of students in various locations including Westminster and Southwark. They got to see important parts of London, as well as developing their abilities to communicate effectively.


David Charnick tells students about Columbia Market, Bethnal Green © 2014 Alan Tucker

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