Thanks to our volunteers this term for our Teacher Feature! We are starting with one of our new teachers, Mr Stevenson who teaches Design Technology and Engieering.
1. Where did you grow up and go to school and college?
I was born in North London on St. Patricks day 1975. My father was a prison officer and due to the nature of his job we moved around fairly often. I attended schools in Muswell Hill, North London and Hemsworth W.Yorks. I later I secured an apprenticeship at British Steel Engineering, Chapel Bank, Workington.
As part of this I attended Workington College and later Carlisle College. I later attended Sheffield Hallam University to complete my degree and teacher training.
2. Why did you decide to teach what you teach?
Even from a young age I always wanted to make things better for those around me. As a teenager I volunteered at our local special school once a week and later I would volunteer to help our next door neighbour who was suffering with monoplegia.
I can’t remember when exactly I decided to teach. It was a growing feeling that I wanted to do something more with my life, a calling.
Twenty years later and I have never regretted my choice to leave my trade and become a teacher.
It is my vocation.
Student wellbeing and enhancing their life chances is at the centre of everything I do. I am incredibly blessed to have a job which still enthrals me with the same drive now as I had as a newly qualified teacher all those years ago.
3. Where and when was your first teaching job?
My first teaching post was at the now sadly defunct Wyndham School, Egremont. This was back in 2001.
I taught there for three years and some of my fondest memories still reside at the school.
4. What is the best thing about teaching in a secondary school?
The students. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying this. Even the ones who will try to push boundaries!
I cannot recall a time when I have ever awoke in the morning and thought “I don’t want to go to work today”. I don’t even think of teaching as “a job”. It is more than that. I am incredibly lucky to have found my calling.
Every morning I arrive in school with a feeling of excitement and fulfilment. As I stated previously. I am very lucky.
5. How do you think students will remember you and your class?
Hopefully, the same way I remember one of my old teachers.
He really cared and went the extra mile for all of his students to help us realise our potential. This doesn’t mean he was a pushover, he certainly wasn’t! But in an odd way he still lives on in everything I do now.
Who knows? Perhaps in the future one of my students will say the same about me. That would be perfect.
6. What is your favourite movie/book?
I have so many and I am a prolific reader. Some of my favourites are anything by Sir Terry Pratchett, P.G. Wodehouse and Raymond E Feist.
I owe everything though to comics, in particular the Beano and 2000 a.d.
I also have a very soft spot for a small bear called Paddington.
7. What is your idea of fun?
Those who know me well will tell you I have a wild side……. I am still an avid engineer and have restored two classic Land Rovers, an MG and a VW campervan. I have also restored two motorcycles – a Kawasaki Z1100 and a Triumph Daytona.
I play the guitar and I am a self-confessed “tinkerer”. I am always on the go.
8. What is one of your hidden talents?
I’m not sure I have any hidden talents as search, I am far too open to keep things hidden.
However, I make excellent pancakes.
9. What would the students be surprised to find out about you?
I was a massive underachiever at school. It still embarrasses me to this day to write down my GCSE results on an application form.
I will do everything I can to ensure my students do not have to suffer the same fate.
10. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Can I have a normal one? Since I was a young child I have suffered with higher level hearing loss.
When you are not able to hear the birds singing or the phone ringing, having full hearing would be a super power indeed!
11. List three words that describe you.
12. Name three things you love about your job.
* Every day is different and I do mean every day
* The feeling of a classroom at the end of a busy week. It feels like it should be “pinging” as it cools, like an engine after a long drive
* The sheer wonder of watching the students grow, find confidence and hint at what the future generation will bring
13. Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi
“Good Thoughts. Good Words. Good Deeds.” – Zarathrustra