Teaching Health and Social Care is fun. I teach a lot of the sciency stuff which means I teach a lot of the anatomy and physiology, a lot of the infection control, and microbiology.
Infection control is probably my favourite thing to teach actually. There is this invisible world that people have no idea about. It is only when we start pinning pieces of bread to the wall and watch it decay over a number of days that we can actually start to see those things happening.
A few people affectionately call me the germ guy!
When you see that light bulb moment in somebody, it’s great
People have a pretty good idea about what is going on in the world, but they don’t know much about what is going on inside their own bodies. People know a lot about the world and the news, and that’s great, but do they know what a spleen is, or what a pancreas does, or what the difference is between bacteria and a virus . Lot of people don’t know, and when you see that light bulb moment in somebody, it’s great. Those are the things I like most about teaching.
Outside of college, I’m a triathlete and distance runner so I spend a lot of my time, in the water, on a bike, or running on the pavement, which takes up quite a lot of my time. When I’m not doing that I enjoy reading, video games, movies, and occasionally trying to be the second best cook in my household. Well in fact, probably the third best now because my 10-year-old daughter is better than me.
I remember one of my first triathlons was about four years ago and I spent ages training for it, but I hadn’t actually practised doing any open water swimming. Anyway, once the race had started and I jumped into Bewl Water reservoir with 300 other guys, I’m in 150ft of water and there is just splashing all around me.
I completely went into panic mode and thought “oh no, I’ve forgotten everything I’ve trained for”. I had to roll onto my back and take several deep breaths and concentrate on what I was doing. It took quite a few seconds to compose myself, but once I did, I put my head down and rhythmically tried to remembered everything that I had done in training.
I came out of the water, not very highly placed, but I came out of the water!
I came out of the water, not very highly placed, but I came out of the water – which was a positive thing. Then for the rest of the race I was able to make my way up the leaderboard. That was a pretty bad moment, but I overcame that and it felt pretty awesome!