Mr Hamilton, who teaches Geography, has kindly agreed to be interviewed this term.
Where did you grow up and go to school and college?
I was born in Nottingham but moved to Cumbria with my family when I was young. I went to Keswick School and lived in Borrowdale. I used to catch the boat to school!
Why did you decide to teach what you teach?
I always wanted to be a volcanologist and I took this as my focus at university. Whilst at university I undertook some student tutoring in secondary schools in Aberdeen. I really enjoyed working with young people and they were enthusiastic about Geography too. My own geography teacher at school was amazing ,so I reckon my passion for Geography stems from there too.
Where and when was your first teaching job?
I started my teaching at St Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Rickmansworth in 1997. On my interview day, I was dropped off by a double decker bus full of Geography students from my training school. I rejoined them later in a stream in south Wales still dressed in my suit.
What is the best thing about teaching secondary school?
Without any doubt the students. I really enjoy the questions they ask and the buzz that happens within the classroom.
How do you think students will remember you and your class?
I think I’m recognised as a bit of a volcano geek and I’m proud of that! I genuinely love the subject and I think most would say I was enthusiastic about everything Geography/Geology. My jokes are pretty rubbish, but I’ve heard many of them repeated around school!
What is your favourite movie/book?
I love The Shawshank Redemption, an absolute classic! I also enjoy reading Peter May’s books especially the Lewis Trilogy- classic crime novels linked to an amazing geographical location
What is your idea of fun?
I love trekking up volcanoes! I’ve visited 80 so far! I spent last summer at a volcanologist convention in Portland, Oregon. As part of this I got to work with key geologists in Hawaii, Mt St Helens and Yellowstone National Park. My young nephews are also very much into volcanoes!
What is one of your hidden talents?
I play the cornet and have been a member of Cockermouth Mechanics Band since 1986. It’s where I met my wife!
What would the students be surprised to find out about you?
I used to be part of the lighting crew for concerts. I was a member of Arctic Monkey’s first tour back in 2006 (I even have the crew T-shirt)
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to fly. Being superman and being able to save people would be amazing.
List three words that describe you.
Honest, Enthusiastic & Geography-Geek
Name three things you love about your job.
The enthusiasm of the students and the geographical discussions they get inviolved in
Resourcing lessons and being able to link these to my travel/life experiences
The Geography team!
Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
‘Never rest until your good is better and your better best’
This was on display in Lutengano School in Tanzania and I’ve tried to live by it ever since.