Alastair Chambers aims to use his Geography lessons to inspire the students at UTC Leeds to use their engineering skills to make a difference.
Why did you decide to start teaching at the UTC?
I recognised that the UTC offers a unique opportunity for teachers like me to show the brilliant young minds that UTC Leeds works with how they can use their engineering skills to solve the problems that the world is facing.
What is it that interests you about your subject/area?
I genuinely believe that everybody, young and old, should understand the part they play in the immensely complex system that is planet Earth.
I am fascinated by the world around me – I want to understand everything I see and hear! I love travelling and exploring new places, whether they be in the UK or further afield. It is a privilege to be able to share that with others.
How did you get into teaching?
I had a friend who was working as a Geography Teacher at a school in Barnsley. I went and did some work experience at the school and realised it was the career for me.
In recent years, my sense of purpose has never been stronger – since having children of my own, my attention has been refocused on the critical need to help young people understand how their choices affect people and places.
What are your ambitions for your department/subject?
My aim is to use our Geography lessons to inspire the students at UTC Leeds to use their engineering skills to make a difference to the environment, be that large or small, or to improve the quality of life of those less fortunate.
What kind of projects do the students work on in your subject?
The Geography Department has established strong ties with Stantec – an employer partner of UTC Leeds. In the near future a collaborative project will be taking place that will involve KS4 students, who will be attempting to use Geographic Information Systems to solve real-world problems.
What has been your highlight of working at the UTC?
Results Day, 2019. Having only taught last year’s Year 11 for half a term, I was overwhelmed by the close working relationship I felt I’d developed with a large number of students. It was superb to see so many of them celebrating their successes in Geography and all their other subjects.
What do you think are the strengths of the UTC?
UTC Leeds provides a calm learning environment for young people of all abilities who want to do the best that they can do. Students who attend UTC Leeds are able to be themselves and are able to gain recognition from their peers for working hard.
Why should students come to the UTC?
Students should come to UTC Leeds because it will give them a different experience of learning – where creativity and innovation is welcomed, and where classroom-based learning is business-like and focused. The staff that you will work with are exceptional and the building that you will learn in is unlike any other educational facility that I have seen, and it is a truly inspirational space to work in.