Mr Shakesby – Teacher

Shakesby, PaulI have been teaching now for more than 10 years, having been taken onboard by St Mary’s school as a trainee maths teacher in 2003.

I instantly knew, as soon as I stood in front of a classroom I had found my calling and passion and I haven’t looked back. I have been rewarded continuously throughout my time as a teacher from watching students achieve more than they thought they could do. I love teaching Maths, but was always frustrated that I wasn’t allowed to teach all the other subjects I was also fascinated in. My life was slowly turning into one of numbers and pass rates and I became increasingly disconnected with what education was really for.

A few years ago I was passed on a book by David Jackson of the innovation unit. It was a little book entitled an Ethic of Excellence by Ron Berger and it changed my life (it even made me cry)! I knew from that moment that project based learning was absolutely everything I wanted to do in Education, I then never stopped pestering XP school until they let me be part of this amazing adventure.

I have been a head of Maths, an AST, a Vice Principal and even an Acting Principal, but nothing compares to the reality of XP learning expeditions and the quality of experience it creates for our students.

I love the Outward Bound I am an experienced tracker and naturalist and can be found most weekends hidden away somewhere in the solitude of the wilderness, or on the sofa with my little family.

The culminating event to our staff induction is an Educator-Led Conference, where staff prepare speeches, critiqued by their peers, which answer the guiding question:

“What kind of person, and what kind of educator do I want to be at XP?”

Below is Mr Shakesby’s speech: