A bbc Interview with Luke Jeffery @ _MrJeffery

Mr Jeffery, please introduce yourself...

I'm Luke Jeffery, about to start my 4th year teaching and I'm about to starting teaching in Y1, my first in KS1. I have two young children so I'm hoping that makes the transition easier!

What made you become a teacher?

I finished my undergrad in music and I knew that the work I wanted to do (performing and jazz/cafe work) wouldn't pay well, so I heard a primary school wanted a volunteer to teach music and I went and loved it! Everything I enjoyed about private tuition was magnified and I didn´t have to talk guitars all day! I stayed on for the rest of the summer term and I was completely smitten by the idea of being a primary school teacher. A PGCE later and here I am.

What has been best thing you have done at work this year?

P4C! I really enjoy it and the class that I've taught loved them too. They also really enjoyed drama and anything that involved a green screen!

What is the most frustrating thing about teaching at the moment?

Cuts! Good people are losing jobs, schools cant afford to provide for children in they way they once have. I personally think we don´t help ourselves when some teachers provide for their class out of their own pay either - but that's a different issue entirely. I think education professionals get treated criminally by the current government!

What songs would be on your driving to work playlist?

I cycle most days, so whatever is on Spotify. My favourite album, currently, is Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um... some great jazz standards on there and Mingus was incredibly talented

What is the funniest thing a child has ever said/written in your class?

I've had the standard poor spelling 'I Lick Cak'  which was meant to be 'I like Cake'. All the funniest stuff was mostly 'had to be there' moments. Two that stick out are when a child told a joke but said the punchline to a different joke. 'Why didn't the skeleton go to the party? Because he's got no legs'. And an SEN child, who usually isn't very confident in speaking up in group work, insisting he was called 'Handsome (his name)' in news bulletin.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I don't really feel guilty doing anything pleasurable. But one I wouldn't be keen to admit is how much I'm into Game of Thrones! I listen to fan theory videos when tidying up after my two hurricanes are in bed. It's enlightening because they really analyse every detail in the text, but also frustrating as their predictions are usually correct!

If you weren´t a teacher, what would you be and why?

If I could have been anything, I would have been a session musician - I had the potential but never the will to practise. It is a well paid career but those who do it have a monopoly over it - it's a tough gig to get into. Realistically, I'd probably be doing a boring 9-5 office job. I'm glad I'm a teacher.

What are you passionate about (teaching-related or not)?

Teaching - I am passionate about disadvantaged children succeeding and being given the same opportunities that middle class children get.
Non-teaching related - my own children and cycling. Taught my 3 year old to ride a pedal bike during the holidays, no stabilisers. Great dad moment.


If you had to pick one subject/topic to teach on a loop forever, what would it be?

I'd probably say Science. The children find it fascinating and I think it's really important that they have a better understanding of the world. You can get some really good writing from it too.

What is the most effective resource/technology/app you use in the classroom?

Kahoot. I've used it in guided reading loads this year and the kids love it. Great for assessing understanding. There are also pre-made quizzes on there, so you don't have to start from scratch either.

What is the most effective routine/method/system you use in the classroom?

Probably Stephen Lockyer's job wheel. Less effort than changing names and worrying about bluetack falling off etc. The kids really like the visual of it and enjoy being asked to spin the job wheel.

If you had to pick 4 people (Twitter or otherwise) to invite to a dinner party who
would it be and why?

I'd invite my guitar hero Tommy Emmanuel. He's a really humble guy and is unbelievably talented. I'd probably invite @MrCYear5 as he's a top laaaad and able to reference most of Will Ferrell's back catalogue! I'd invite @MrBoothY6 as he's always got a good book to recommend and I'd better invite my girlfriend Juliet; we don't often get the chance to have dinner in adult company and she's very good company.

What is the best and worst advice you have been given as a teacher?

I've had a lot of good advice on my 2nd placement, but nothing sticks out. @_MissieBee said recently 'Teach the children, not the lesson' and I think that was something I'd heard before in less concise way.
Worst advice - probably the classic 'Don't smile before Christmas'.


Final Question: What drives you as a teacher?

Knowing that I make a difference. In all the assessment dramas and day-to-day battles, you can lose sight of what really matters - the kids.

If you could choose one person who you´d love to have the bbc interview treatment, who would it be and why?

I reckon @jonnywalker_edu would be very interesting, or @Mr_Beetroot.

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