Educating Me

We are coming up to the end of @staffrms #29daysof writing and for this post I have stolen an idea from Stephen Connor and am going to answer a few questions about my education.

What were you like at school? 

Overall I was pretty good at school and did well academically. Looking back, as a teacher, I don’t think I would have enjoyed teaching me! If I didn’t particularly respect my teacher I think I possibly made that clear but never did anything outrageous enough to really get in to trouble. I was also pretty stubborn, and if I thought something was stupid I made it quite clear. 

Primary, secondary, college or uni – which was your favourite?

To be honest it is hard to pick here as I enjoyed all of them for different reasons. I guess overall my time in Sixth Form was probably my favourite. First time I got to only do subjects that interested me (specifically I wasn’t forced to do PE!) and I got to spend lots of time in friends. I can’t remember that time being too stressful work wise and it was a good experience to be involved with organising the Sixth Form prom.

Which of your teachers do you still admire?

From primary school it has to be Miss Carpenter, I really enjoyed Year 2 as there was none of the stupid “let’s listen to a boring story while children tie up the teachers hair with rubber bands” rubbishy that I endured the previous year. Miss Carpenter was also the first teacher to really stretch me with maths, providing me with extra questions. I still admire my Year 6 teacher, Mr Massey and it was sad that he died so young. I think my love of computing technology is in a large part down to him as I was allowed to be an “IT Monitor”, which essentially meant I got to spend a lot of time outside the classroom helping other teachers with things like printing and fixing basic issues with their computer – I don’t think that kind of thing would be possible now.

From my secondary schooling there are a couple that stand out: 

 The first is Miss Dodwell, who I had for English from Year 9 through to Year 11. I had never been particularly keen on English as a subject before, always doing the bare minimum in terms of work but I always really enjoyed Miss Dodwell’s lessons (though I’m not sure if I let it be known that I did). I certainly don’t think I would have done as well with my GCSEs if I hadn’t have had her, and her approach to teaching has had a pretty big impact on how I want to be as a teacher. My classes now often find it strange when I say that I really liked my English GCSE classes and will quite happily discuss with them one of their current books. 

The second has to be my A-Level maths teacher, Adrian Green. His lessons went a long way in leading me to choose maths at university instead of physics or engineering. I really respected how he always found the time to help with maths despite being a deputy head. He was a great A-Level maths teacher and my current teaching is very much inspired by his approach.

Which lessons do you still remember?

From Primary I remember a ridiculous craft session (in Year 1 I think) where I had to use pasta shapes to make a picture of a beach and a sandcastle. I wanted to use the same shapes for the beach and the castle but was told that I wasn’t allowed as you couldn’t make out the castle so they had to be different pasta shapes. I pointed out that it was unlikely that the sand castle would be made of different sand than was present on the beach but that point fell on deaf ears. This picture went straight in the bin as soon as I got in…

At Clarendon I can vividly remember GCSE drama lessons in the run up to performances and spending lots of time with Justin and Luke up in the Tech room on the Zero 88 Illusion 120 lighting desk and sound desk – lots of fun times were had doing tech with these guys. 

For Sixth Form I had to take three of my subjects at Clarendon, and two of them at John of Gaunt. Chemistry was one of the ones that I took at John of Gaunt and I can remember doing lots of cool experiments with Mr Treble.

What are the main differences between the classrooms you were taught in and those you work in now?

I guess one of the biggest differences is how rare blackboards are now, quite a few of my classrooms at secondary had blackboards and no digital projectors. I can remember in primary school it being pretty exciting when we got an overhead projector for the hall – how times have changed.

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