A bbc interview with @MrDeach27

Today´s interview is with @MrDeach27.
Please introduce yourself...

For school policy reasons I won't give my full name but my friends and family often use Mr Deach as a nickname so that will do for here.

I've taught for 14 years now in a range of comprehensives in and around London. I currently teach in an amazing comprehensive in Bishop's Stortford.

I started my career teaching English then moved into teaching Media and Film but have also taught Classical Civilisation once upon a time. I've always followed my personal subject interests to guide my choices re what I've taught and now focus on teaching solely Media and Film and have been a subject leader for these areas for over a decade.

What made you become a teacher?

I decided to become a teacher when I saw a recruitment ad on wall outside Dr Brock's office in the Classical Civilisation department in Leeds Uni. As an undergrad (studying English and Classical Literature) I fell in love with the idea that I could carry on working with subjects I'd loved learning. At this stage it was a toss up between Classics and English PGCE went with Classics but after leaving uni and completing an extra Latin A-Level I decided to change and go with English as the idea of teaching Latin ad infinitum made me feel ill.

What is your favourite part of the job?

When students are leaving. Seeing how far they've come and the difference between the student that are leaving and the ones that came. I love working with young people and helping them realise as much of their potential as possible

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

Unfortunately spoilt for choice here. Will go with the DfE's approach to consultations. A lot of time and effort has gone into professionals and experts giving detailed submissions only for DfE to ignore and proceed as planned. Subject specific and Ebacc consultations leap to mind.

What songs would be on your driving to work playlist?

Will own up to mainly listening to my daughters CDs. Moana soundtrack and Carly Rea Jepsen often feature.

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

My "there's no such thing as a silly question" class rule was tested once when a student asked why the Hulk doesn't disappear when filming in front of green screen.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Films most commonly described as being for children. All the way from things like Moana and Despicable Me to the Tinkerbell movies. I even have a favourite fairy.


Vidia. She has layers

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

I'd like to make films.  Nothing big. Maybe promotional films for small charities, weddings films etc.

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

Extracurricular. I love working with students on projects outside of lessons. From the online student magazine I started to helping children realise ideas such as charity events, political debates, and creative projects. Really feel these aspects of school life are some of the most meaningful. Heading up a research group looking at promoting student leadership next year linked to this.

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

I love teaching so many things but on a loop I would go with film or media production. Goes from delivering knowledge through to technical training, concept work, production, post-production and evaluation. Endlessly fascinating as there is always something for me to learn and working with students and their original concepts keeps it fresh. Huge sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for them and for me and every so often a student produces something breathtaking.

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

My projector. Most of what I do is presenting from the front of the class and, as captivating as I am, I couldn't do without the visuals.

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

Maybe it's because I teach older end if the age range but find that relationships are more important than specific routines. I work at creating a respectful classroom where people feel valued, where their best interests are paramount and where dialogue takes the place of aspects such as rewards and sanctions. I find this is the more secure route to cultivating intrinsic motivation and genuine engagement rather than less productive traits eg compliance or acting through habit.

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

That's a really hard question as I've cultivated a really amazing group of people on Twitter. But for a warm hearted fun evening with meaningful conversation I would choose the people I end up chatting with the most on here.

So out of a large group of wonderful people I would pick @imagineinquiry as Tim was one of the first reasonable and interesting people I found on here and is a big part of why I don't give up on edTwitter. His blogs and posts always have the experience and interests of the children at heart and I'm also keen to hear more about the incident at Summerhill all those years ago. I would also invite @darynsimon as I find he has great things to say. Direct and knowledgeable but also engaging and respectful. Would love to hear more about his ideas regarding education beyond the limits of 140 characters. I'd also invite @EnserMark as he embodies those same qualities of the people mentioned above but as we often differ in viewpoint he would be great in keeping the conversations interesting. Would also invite my wife. Her work with home education, unschooling and rights respecting democratic approaches would set the cat amongst all our mainstream edu pigeons and ensure a memorable evening.

I could create loads of lists like this with great people from edTwitter but for my first virtual dinner party this group will do nicely.

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

I've been given lots of great advice and almost tied for first would be to keep things simple but I will go with "be yourself". To some extent teaching is adopting a role but that should be as authentic as possible rather than adopting a different persona or putting on an act. Children know the difference and it makes a difference. This has been the advice that has had the greatest impact on positive and effective teacher student relationships and thus my practice, my quality of work-life and my success as a teacher overall.

I've also been given lots of bad advice over the years. Probably the worst is "never admit you are wrong/don't know the answer". This approach can be corrosive and loose you respect (especially self respect). Trying to blag an answer to try and maintain a sense of authority rarely goes unnoticed. Also not admitting you've made a mistake (eg telling someone off unfairly) is poor form and reduces the sense of fairness that I think is really important.
Final Question: What drives you as a teacher?

What keeps me coming back year after year is playing a role in students gaining qualifications and helping to provide positive experiences. I love the feeling of having contributed to the lives of young people in meaningful ways and being able to do that through teaching subjects that I love is what keeps me rooted in the classroom

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

Who would I like to see a Q&A with? I would go with @MikeArmiger. He stands up for those young people who need our support most and does incredible work in difficult circumstances. I would love to hear his responses and find out more about a person who I find inspiring and courageous.


Popular posts from this blog

A bbc interview with Ashley Booth @mrboothY6

A bbc Interview with Beth Bennett

#bbcInterview with @mrlockyer