|11 Aug 2020|
What was it like teaching at a brand new school, particularly the UK’s first specialist maths school?
It wasn’t the first time I’d been involved in setting up new facilities. But, the nature of the school, the close links with the university, the small scale of the building and the handful of teachers made the project special.
Then there was the first cohort of students: I’d met up with them at the Strand campus in June at a keep-warm event. To say I was impressed hardly does it justice: I knew straight away that I’d probably landed one of the best jobs ever. Working at KCLMS has been truly amazing!
Did your time at KCLMS shape or change you in any way(s) and if so, how?
I was infused by the curiosity of the wonderful students, pushed to think deeply by their probing questions and frequently met ideas in a way that I just hadn’t before (in spite of a long career). I also had to change my perspective of teaching and learning in many ways, often driven by the terrific examples of Dan and his team of outstanding maths teachers, as well as other physics teachers.
At a more basic level, KCLMS got me fitter! My last school was less than two miles from home and sadly I’d taken to driving there. Replacing that with 2 times 8 miles on a bicycle each day did me the world of good.
What has been your proudest moment?
Seeing lots of students achieving what they need to go where they want is a joy, of course. Certainly there have been other moments: getting the award for the teacher most likely to answer a question with a question; nutmegging Ken that first time I played football with his year (yes Ken, I know it was a fluke and that you were surprised that I could move at slightly more than geriatric pace!).
What’s on the horizon for you?
Lots of horizons hopefully: hillwalking in Scotland sometimes; finishing off training to be a qualified electrician; reading more physics; most of all, volunteering, something that I’ve done too little of so far, sadly.
What advice would you give to KCLMS students who are about to graduate?
Take your time to find out what you want to do, and don’t be afraid of changing your mind.
If you had to sum up KCLMS in one word, what would it be?