Why did you decide to teach?
It was a matter of choice over my working life, as I was aware within myself and having reflected with friends that I might be very well-suited to teaching, plus I knew teaching would involve mixing with an even wider variety of different people (pupils obviously, and staff too; I had come to realise the extent to which I am a 'people person'). At this stage of my life my desire for international travel had changed, in that I viewed that as having being 'done'. I wanted to train to teach Physics for a number of years, but the time was not quite right, so in the intervening time I spent several years in school governance which I threw myself into wholeheartedly, and this confirmed I could do hard work whilst taking great satisfaction from 'giving my all' and using my skills in schools. This did also involve spending time with children, which you would not necessarily expect to a high degree as a governor, but the schools I worked for had this exactly right. Additionally I knew from my career that I still enjoyed the more technical aspects of learning, for example in training and developing colleagues in areas unfamiliar to them, and that I enjoyed challenging myself too.
What do you enjoy about teaching?
I particularly enjoy feedback from pupils, which includes seeing both their struggles and their achievements, and being in a position not so much to give answers to their questions, but to engage and guide. Working with children, and unpicking misconceptions, is very rewarding and above all interesting to engage with young minds. I also enjoy the surprises children bring, and working with them invariably makes me feel positive overall about the future. When it comes together and you are putting across your subject well it is a joy!
Why did you choose the School Centred Initial Teacher Training route and the Cheshire East SCITT?
This route maximises the amount of time in school and hence is the best preparation for the NQT year to come. I was also aware of the excellent reputation of teacher training at this SCITT and the associated schools through close association and acquaintance with many others who had done teacher-training here over the years. Being well-established, I knew it was a stable and professional organisation.
What are you looking forward to?
I keep quite a competitive and results-driven personality beneath the surface, and my goal would always be that all my pupils feel that they have given their studies their very best shot and enjoyed their time at school. Whilst obviously not all will take science further in their careers, because of the breadth of other wonderful fields too that I appreciate just as much, if I could give every student the ability to be interested and able to engage with science in their future lives, that would be great.
What were the three best things about the programme?
The camaraderie with your fellow trainees, the support from the SCITT and placement schools, and the fact that you learn so much about yourself too as you go along! Just to expand on the camaraderie a little, in addition feeling like a useful member of the team at your placement schools (for example through your department, form and other duties) gave a real sense of belonging.
What is your background?
I've spent pretty much exactly the first 50% of my working life based in manufacturing industry, as a Chartered Engineer doing some pretty responsible roles in the field of quality assurance for explosion protection.
The regulations allow international trade, so I was lucky enough to have worked around the world, including significant periods of time in the US ("OC" in Southern California, like off the telly!), Germany, and Japan. I've seen some exciting things, ranging from the massive Hyundai shipyards in South Korea, to explosion testing on the moors above Buxton!