#bbcinterview with @MrS_Primary

-          First tell us about yourself.

We'll, I'm 33 for another week or so, born and bred in South London, but I've lived in Nottingham for the past 4 years now. My partner and I have been together for the best part of 13 years and our boy is 5 on Sunday, so it's lockdown party time!

I've been teaching now for 10 years and have taught all year groups in some form (including supply) but most of my career has been in KS2. I was English Lead in my previous school but I've just moved to a PRU, so it's exciting times ahead!

-          1. Why teaching? What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?

The original plan was to go into some kind of community/social work through sport. That was my degree and I was always interested in working with young people but that never really took off. I'd done my degree and was working in pubs when I thought I better pull my finger out and figure out what I want to do with my life.

My mum is a teacher and I swore as a kid I'd never follow in her footsteps, but, lo and behold, I did some voluntary work in a local primary and loved it. Within a couple of months, I'd applied for a PGCE and had a full time TA job for the rest of the year. 11 years later, I'm beginning a new chapter working with some of the most vulnerable kids I've ever worked with.

-          2. What advice would you give for newcomers to twitter?

Be brave. Talk to people. There are so many amazing educators in here that have so much wisdom and incredible practice to share. It's tough at first (it took me well over a year of lurking to pluck up the courage) but once you get the ball rolling, so many doors will open up for you. I've learned more in the last three years about teaching through Twitter than I had in the previous seven. There is a chance, however, that you could get mixed up with the likes of @AnnisbrownJ and @Misterbodd too, so beware!

-          We wouldn’t want that.

-          3. What are your passions?

Reading was something I never saw the importance of as a kid, especially fiction, right the way through school. It wasn't until I left uni that I really found a love for it, but now I can't be without a book. As a teacher, they're woven into every aspect of my life and I'm so glad I came round to it in the end.

More recently, I've discovered comics and graphic novels and this has completely taken over my life at the moment. I can't get enough of them.

Less academically, it's sports and video games, although I don't get anywhere near enough time to play either at the moment. I will follow pretty much any sport, most probaly influenced by my late Grandad who watched everything under the sun.

I'm a but of a old school gamer at heart and haven't kept up with the latest consoles in recent years. Put me in front of a SNES, Playstation 1 or Mega Drive and I'm away! If you've been following #ArcadeApril then you'll have noticed that my nostalgia game is on point.

-          4. What has been your favourite lesson ever?

It's difficult to pick just one lesson. For me, the all singing and dancing lessons often never live up to expectations and the simpler ones that usually go better than you expect. The longer I've taught, the simpler I've made my lessons.

One lesson I used to love teaching in Y3 was the Jam Sandwich Robot lesson. For the uninitiated, you play the role of a robot following direct instructions from the children for making a jam sandwich. The results are hilarious and there's actually loads to take away from the lesson for the kids. I think the record for worst instructions went to a class that took over half an hour to tell me how to make the sandwich. We went through a lot of bread and it look horrendous afterwards!

-          I’ve been there. 5. Who should play you in the film of your life?

The popular choice with the public would clearly be Alex Horne of Taskmaster fame as many have pointed out the resemblance to me. He's accessible and down to Earth, but people still want to be him. The Perfect combo. Plus, he'd no doubt make my life seem far more fun than it actually has been!

-          6. What is the best/worst teaching advice you’ve heard?

The best advice I've ever been given was during my first successful interview and I'll always remember it. We talked about behaviour management (it was a difficult setting) and the deputy interviewing me said behaviour management is all about picking your battles and she was spot on. Sometimes you have to let things slide and other times it's important to pick things up and this will change day to day and cohort to cohort.

Worst advice is basically anything that I've ever been told to do that benefits only Ofsted or SLT. Luckily, the more experienced I get, the more able I am to spot what's right for the kids and what isn't. I'm also getting ballsier with age as well, it seems, as I'm more likely to challenge it now too.

-          7. If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?

Just asked my other half and she thinks I'd be a table. Strong, sturdy and stable she says. Nothing spectacular but does the job well and can be relied upon time and again and every now and then get spruced up for a special occasion. I'll take that.

-          8. What's your most controversial opinion?

I don't really have that many controversial views about education (unless I unknowingly keep fairly controversial echo chamber around me!).

I really hate photos of kids work in books. What's the point?

I don't see the fuss about Gavin and Stacey. It's crap.

Harry Potter. Meh. That one might get some backlash.

-          It may well do!

-          9. Which 4 living people would you invite to dinner?

The owner of Thornbridge Brewery so they could bring along a few things to try!

Hayao Miyazaki - Honestly, what a creative genius. This man is the ultimate storyteller.

Ian Wright - Legend and he seems like a proper laugh.

Jacinda Ardern - This woman is just incredible and I feel we share many of the same political leanings. Jacinda and Hayao would bring some respectability to the dinner party!

-          10. What would you like to be remembered for?


I jest. Fondly, I'd hope! As a teacher, I'd just like to be remembered as a positive influence on the kids. If they enjoyed the year (and learned something) then I'm happy with that. I've never been one for big goals or the limelight, but something personal like that means a lot.

-          Who would you nominate for an interview? 

If you haven't done so already, @RuddickRichard is an absolute legend. Does so much great stuff with comics in the curriculum.


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