About Teacher Dave
Hi I’m Teacher Dave and I am the co-founder of British Early Years Centre. I have been teaching in Thailand since 2005, having started out as a PE and Swimming Teacher at an International School here in Bangkok. I later became a Homeroom teacher and after moving school in 2008, I quickly came to the realization that schools in Bangkok just aren’t good enough.
I was working with Teacher Nick at the time and we decided we could do things better. We share the same education philosophy and have similar ideas as to what good teaching really is. I absolutely love teaching and I am lucky enough to be able to teach in the way that most teachers in the UK probably wish they could; away from the paperwork and bureaucracy.
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An interview with Teacher Dave
I don’t really have any one individual influence but certainly I have been influenced by a combination of many successful people. I also take a lot of influence from unsung heroes. I think the people we should look up to the most are those that work tirelessly and expect nothing, not even recognition in return. TED talks and The big Think are channels that I subscribe to and my favourite poem, which really is a big influence on me, is IF by Rudjard Kipling.
I love Science and I get very passionate about teaching it. I really enjoy teaching phonics as there is such a wide range of activities that you can use to teach it. Every lesson can be a different game and it makes planning so much easier.
In Primary school definitely Maths. I was fast! And I loved numbers and patterns. I had a little computer that had maths problems and games. I confess, I hated Secondary School and struggled a lot. I love learning but my Secondary School experience took a lot of the curiosity and will from me. It is an experience that inspired me to become a teacher. I remember so many teachers who gave up on me and so many times when I needed a little guidance and reassurance but didn’t get it. When a child is struggling I see myself in them and that experience has made me much more empathetic. I think the best teachers are the ones that had a hard time at school. They are more likely to understand a child’s thought process when they are struggling and adapt their teaching and questioning to suit the needs of the children.
I love cycling and received a new bike for my 30th birthday!! Since then I have been training for triathlons. I enjoy the cycling and like to swim too, but will have to endure the running part. I play squash and badminton and like football. I am a big fan of Charlton Athletic . I also like cooking but, even more so, eating. Travelling is important to me and I love going to new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.
Every teacher hates marking as it is the most unnecessary part of teaching but the hardest part is the planning. What most people don’t understand is that a one hour lesson usually takes about the same amount of time to plan and prepare. When you consider on an average day you teach 5 lessons, that’s about 5 hours extra planning a day on top of an 8 hour work day. Teachers have to plan every little detail for every lesson, with three differentiated groups and we generally make our own resources too. We even write down what we expect each child to achieve and specific questions to use during the lessons to guide individuals to achieve their objective. After all that even the best of us still have bad lessons and we have to reassess and plan all over again. Planning is the most important part for me and if you get it spot on every member of that classroom will overachieve every lesson.
I think most teachers would probably agree that the best part of teaching is when all the time and effort, the hours of planning and assessing, the long hours and the late nights are finally paid off in that fleeting moment, when you see a child’s eyes light up in the realization that they just GOT IT!
Every second counts- When you are in that room with those children you have to be 100% engaged. If a lesson is 40 minutes long and you relax for just 5 minutes you have already taken an eigth of that child’s education away. A teacher should be energetic, almost like they are against the clock, trying with all their might to get the very best out of every child and give them every last second of their care and attention.
Make it fun- I love learning and the reason I love it is because I am an adult and I can choose how I want to learn. It is vitally important to give the children ownership over their study and by making every lesson a game, the children think learning is meant to be enjoyable, giving them a fresh, positive outlook on their study.