What prompted me to choose that book on rockets as the library competition prize aged seven? Why did I choose that telescope for Christmas when I was eight (which I still have 50 years later!)? My thirst for knowledge! However, it still took an inspirational Science teacher at Junior School to show me the way to discovery. That step by step structured approach. The learning to be found in every facet of life. The questions that just had to be answered.
I had not considered teaching when I was taking my Joint Honours Physics and Chemistry (with Maths and Biology subsidiary subjects) until walking down to a lecture with one of my Professors. He had seen something in me and set me on the path into Science teaching following my degree, via the PGCE course.
Few things in life have given me so much pleasure as the “lights on” moments (my way of describing the wonder and joy when a student grasps a difficult concept that has previously eluded them). Self-belief and confidence grow, allowing for learning and progression. To be instrumental in overturning the “I’m no good at that” or “I don’t understand that” mindset is the most significant contribution I can make.
I graduated from High School in America as an exchange student whilst in 6th form and taught in Australia for a year in 1998, accompanied by my wife and four children. In my spare time, I enjoy sport, particularly swimming and football.
I have completed four Ironman triathlon events and cycled from Nottingham to Monaco to raise money for charity. I have acted in school plays and played guitar in the school teacher’s band! I have loved my 33 years of Secondary teaching in the state sector, being delighted to see so many of those “lights on” moments. A flexible teacher can often spot learning opportunities in unexpected situations.
I always told my students that we learn just as much from a wrong answer as a right answer, so don’t be shy and have a go.