A bbc Interview with Paul Tyler @glazgow

Introduce yourself please...

I'm Paul Tyler (@glazgow), originally from Sussex and currently exiled in Scotland! I have been a primary teacher for 10 years, 9 of them at Mearns Primary School, just south of Glasgow. I've taught P4, 6 and 7 as well as science and technology across the school. Currently one of the schools Science Champions and Digital Leaders.

What made you become a teacher?

         - Not really sure although I can guarantee that most of my teachers would be pretty surprised at my career choice. After graduating from Leicester University I worked in pharmaceutical research for 8 years and then as a Rugby Development Officer for Scottish Rugby for 3 years. I've always enjoyed teaching people how to do things so I suppose when I met my wife, who's a primary teacher too, it was inevitable. Ten years in I'm pretty happy with my choice.

What is your favourite part of the job?

         - The children - obvious answer I know but it is genuinely the reason I do the job. I love the magic that happens when you close your classroom door and it's just you, 30 kids and an adventure. I love that light bulb moment when a pupil has struggled away at something and finally gets it. I love watching pupils helping each other to learn something they are finding difficult. It really is a privilege to work with children and help them develop enthusiasm for learning.

What is the most frustrating thing about teaching at the moment?
        - For me it's any of the paperwork that doesn't directly impact on pupils learning. Constantly filling out forms and spreadsheets to record what has already been recorded elsewhere. For me the pupils are the evidence of learning, want to know what they've learnt about...ask them.

Although sometimes that´s dangerous as they will conveniently forget the minute someone in a suit asks them anything.

What is your guilty pleasure?

           - Guilty pleasure...Disney princess films! I have a 4 year old daughter so at first I couldn't avoid them but now really enjoy them and the music, which I often find myself singing!

Been there, done that. I can sing any songs, word perfect, from Moana, Frozen, Tangled...

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

         - If I wasn't a teacher then I'd love to have been a sport scientist. I wanted to do sport science after leaving school but my careers guidance teacher told me it wasn't a proper degree and there'd never be any jobs in it! I do occasionally wish that I'd ignored him and followed my heart.

Well it would have been teaching´s loss, but that career guidance teacher needs a new career.

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

        - My absolute passion is rugby, and coaching rugby. I had to retire from playing at 21 with a broken neck so started coaching early at the age of 22. For 17 years I've coached a variety of age groups and different clubs and districts including coaching my U18 sevens team in front of 45,000 people at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Teaching and sports coaching compliment each other perfectly and there are always ideas that cross over. I'm also passionate about personal learning and look for any opportunities to learn something new. I've done a few MOOC's, some which are useful for school others just for my interest. I'm also a UKCC level 3 rugby coach and have a diploma in Sport Psychology.  With 3 young children now I'm looking forward to supporting and encouraging their passions as they grow up.


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

- My subject on loop would have to be Science, incorporating all aspects of STEM. I have always found children are highly motivated and engaged by science and produce a very high standard of collaborative practical and written work. It's an excellent way to develop cross-curricular links, especially with maths, language and P.E. and I love finding novel ways to make meaningful links to consolidate understanding from other curricular areas. I also love the questions kids ask in science - my Science Question Wall is always one of the most interesting areas of my classroom.

What is the most effective resource/technology/app you use in the classroom?
         - I think my favourite class resource is YouTube - it take a bit of hunting to find what you want but there is a huge collection of outstanding material there to support most curricular areas. In terms of technology me and my digital microscope are pretty much inseparable - there are very few things that are not fascinating when looked at under a microscope!

Does your wife know about this?

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

- Every morning starts with 20 minutes of quiet personal reading. I try and read as well. We then hear from 2 or 3 people a day about their books.

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

         - My dinner party is going to be an unashamedly Twitter geek-fest @RoseEdmonson5 and @UnleashPriSci to provide incisive Edsci chat balanced by tech input from @MrGPrimary (who I get the impression would be a great laugh as well). The final person would be picture book geek @smithsmm who has had a big influence on me as a teacher and a dad with his knowledge of outstanding picture books for all occasions. Some teachers can count!!

Congratulations, you can count to 4.

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

Best advice was don't be afraid to try new things, even if they don't go exactly how you planned.  Not sure I've ever had any 'worst advice' but on one of my student placements the teacher insisted I did Brain Gym once every half an hour to help the kids 'absorb the learning better'. Needless to say I kept 'forgetting'!

Final Question: What drives you as a teacher?

- Improvement drives me, both for the children I teach and for myself. I like to think I'm a much better teacher now than I was 10 years ago when I started, and I hope I'll be even better in another 10 years.  

I love catching up with pupils I've taught after they leave and finding out what they're up to. It gives me a buzz to think I might have played a very small part in their success.

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

I´d like to hear from @unleashPriSci, a real guru of infant teaching and infant Science who always has good ideas to share.


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