Thursday, November 22, 2007

Vanity ?

For the past twenty three years I have taught computing, mathematics, and science at YsgolJB in varying proportions. I have taught each subject at key stages 3 to 5 and have been responsible for four separate A levels. Some of my ICT students have also gone on to take special papers beyond A level. In every subject I have taught it has been a good fortune to see my students succeeding at the highest levels.

I have overseen the expansion of my main subject from a curiosity in the corner of a science laboratory to a Key Skill seen as vital to success in all subject areas in a large comprehensive school. Over the years this has put me in charge of several expansions in the size of my department. Recent major challenges have been the smooth transfer from a late Victorian style building to a purpose built school, along with the introduction of ICT as an academic qualification to the majority of key stage 4 students. This has meant that my department has built from a one man band operating mainly at lunchtimes to a diverse and dedicated group of full time and second subject ICT teachers, each one of whom it has been privilege to guide and work alongside.

The above though is what you might expect. I have a background of experience, and some successes to feel pleased about. I can bring that to the table, but then so can many others I am sure.
As well as academic and pastoral responsibilities of a teacher I have always found that it in taking students on for the extra mile there are rewards beyond.

I have introduced and led a Duke Of Edinburgh award group at YsgolJB. As helping me to share my own passion for the outdoor and mountain experience, it has allowed me to see students develop self reliance and self confidence. The satisfaction gained in sharing this kind of experience with students more than repays the effort you have to put in.
This also allowed me to develop my own mountain leadership skills and qualify as a welsh mountain leader. The award has also allowed me to work closely with colleagues in other schools, sharing joint expeditions to the Scottish islands.
Trips abroad. I have served as teacher / deputy leader on fifteen trips outside the United Kingdom, taking students to Germany and France for weeks study holidays. Working, and sharing the fun. Guiding students (and indeed staff) through the perils of the ‘hypermarch√©’ and Euro Disney. Quite often reflecting on the fact that you could really do with a little more than five hours sleep before the next tour of duty starts. I am fluent in spoken French.
OOSH. Now what on earth does that mean? Out Of School Hours. Grant money enabled us to keep study facilities open at YsgolJB after the end of the school day and as well as maintaining a presence in an IT room overseeing project work in a variety of subjects I was able to focus on helping students improve coursework in maths for GCSE.
These last three, along with other experiences have of course shown me the value of going further. In teaching I feel that we are rewarded by what we give. The relationships and empathy that you build with students are what enriches the joint learning experience. Academic excellence is rooted in this I am sure. If I could give a third referee it would be my students over the years, many of whom correspond regularly from all over the world.

In my personal life I am a keen astrophotographer and a published amateur astronomer. I have a passion for photography and am a member of Conwy Camera Club. I enjoy the challenge of the mountains in all their variety. I am training to drive HGV vehicles. I grow my own vegetables and I am proud of my garden. I read extensively on a variety of subjects and write for pleasure. I walk the dog twice a day and have a hectic family life. I hold a BSAC diving certificate but prefer snorkelling and free diving. If you give me some raw ingredients I can cook up a storm.

Oh yes! If I have to, I can conjure up a science experiment from brown paper, string and patches.

( I am brushing up my CV )


Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Aren't YOU very talented! lol

Good luck with whatever you are brushing up the CV for!

buffalodickdy said...

I kinda wondered what happened to McGuyver after the show was cancelled- he's living in Wales!

Gyro Gearloose said...

Modesty not one of your strong points then?

In all seriousness, very well done. You should feel proud of the fact you are a very good and fun teacher. I am glad to have had you teach me IT for the past 2 years, and maths when I first started high school. Good luck with the CV.

john.g. said...

Didn't you forget the "2" in front of CV? And wash it, don't brush it, it smears!

DaveM said...

Now come on Meredic, you haven't mentioned the Dawes and all the exploits on it.

sablonneuse said...

Pretty full life so far. If the CV is a serious clue, what's the next step then?

DL said...

I can't believe that there could possibly be a next step for a teacher who is so passionate about his work. I'm sure the teaching profession is also fraught with frustrations, but you would never get the fulfilment anywhere else, that you clearly get from your current profession.

bittersweet me said...

'and write for pleasure.'

ours and yours :)

startare said...

If the outfit on the photo is a clue, you may have to grow a beard and give up the booze.

meredic said...

vi vi vi voom!!!!!!!! – if only I were talented, I could dispense with all the dreadful lies …

buffalodickdy – had to look up McGuyver, I am not sure it was ever shown in Wales. Thanks though…

gyro gearloose – Oi! I haven’t gone anywhere yet!

john.g. – groan

davem - blimey you are right. I shall have to add another paragraph now and that may mean a smaller font!

sablonneuse – I have no idea but the time seems to be near

dl – I am not sure about this. Yes teaching is great fun and very rewarding, I will probably stick with it in some form.

bittersweet me – you are very kind.

startare – in truth I really drink very little alcohol and the picture is a few years old. I do now have the beard.

Sally Lomax said...

I'd employ you if I had a job to offer...