Here's another post in my continuing series on teacher voices. I'm interviewing some of my former students who have gone on to become teachers. In this post, we hear from Stew Matthews, who graduated from Plymouth University in 2010. He is now director of computing for the Park Federation where he is responsible for the technology provision of several schools near London. In his busy schedule he still manages to teach specialist sessions in computing. You can follow him on Twitter at @ExmouthBull.

1) What made you decide to become a teacher? What/who inspired you? What were your motivations? 

The decision to become a teacher was an easy one for me. During my childhood my parents separated and during this time I had several times where I arrived in school in tears.

There's a wonderful scene in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. It's where English sprinter Harold Abrahams (who believed he was the best in the UK) has been unexpectedly and soundly defeated by former Scottish international rugby player Eric Liddell in the 400 m.

After the race, Abrahams is sat despondently in the deserted stands, holding his head in his hands. Suddenly, a voice from below interrupts his misery. Down on the track, gazing up at him is the famous athletics coach Sam Massabini.

This is a continuation of my series of interviews with former students who are now teachers. The interview on this page features Kate Bartlett, a teacher at a primary school in Cornwall. You can follow her on Twitter as MissBartlettNQT.

1) What made you decide to become a teacher? What/who inspired you? What were your motivations?

I’d worked so many jobs where I was constantly bored, uninspired and felt like I was just muddling through life.

Do you need thinking space? What kind of space best encourages you to think creatively?

Recently I spent a week working in Singapore with the Lifelong Learning Institute. My base was iNLAB - a purpose built unit designed specifically to promote ideation - creative thinking and innovation. The image on this page is the communal area where students and staff can take breaks.
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Every time we change something we take a risk. When it comes to changes at a societal level, the risk intensifies, because it potentially affects many more people. 3 September 1967 was the day Sweden changed from driving on the left side of the road to the right side. It was known as Dagen H and brought Sweden into alignment with its Nordic neighbours.

Interestingly, a referendum held in Sweden in 1955 showed that 83% of voters were against the change.
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This image I saw on social media today got me thinking about creativity. In fact, it made me a little angry, just as it did Amy Burvall, who posted a commentary. You can see what is happening. This teacher is insisting on the 'proper' way to do something. In this case, it's drawing, or colouring - and it's clear to see that s/he is trying to scaffold children into a 'correct way' to do it.
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For too long education systems have been standardising content, assessment and the learning experience. Clearly, one size does not fit all, and we need personalised learning experiences for our students if we are to prepare them for an ever changing, volatile world. Here's a short video on personalised learning I made for the D-Transform project last year in Barcelona. It will be used in a forthcoming MOOC on the subject of digital learning environments.

Many of my greatest childhood heroes were explorers. From the era of the African continent explorers such as David Livingstone and Mungo_Park, the tragic heroism of Robert Falcon Scott and his men, to the stunningly intrepid off-world exploits of Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, I found myself transfixed by the intrigue and drama of exploring the unknown, and immeasurably impressed by the courage of all those involved.
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Finding out what former students are doing now they are qualified, is one of the joys of teaching. In this series I am featuring interviews with those who have gone on to become qualified teacher. This is number seven in the ongoing series.

Lloyd Chilcott studied a BEd degree (specialising in ICT) at Plymouth between 2011 and 2015, achieving first degree honours and a dissertation award. He completed his NQT year last year at an inner city school in Plymouth.

Some time ago I wrote a blog post on innovative teaching - where teachers take risks, stand back to let students learn for themselves, and provide challenging and engaging experiences. Well, that is exactly what some of my student teachers practised this week when we crossed over the river to spend the day in one of our local primary schools.
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