Day in the life - Chris Loosemore

31st October 2008 at 00:00
A former newsreader finds teaching offers new ways to communicate

Communication is my passion. For years I worked for the BBC World Service, as a studio manager, a producer, then as a newsreader. Afterwards I switched to TV and became a continuity announcer. But there's only so many ways you can say: "And Now on BBC 1... Neighbours", so I set up my own company training politicians how to give good interviews. Then my children started school and I became aware of another world of communication - teaching.

At the moment I only have 20 per cent of a normal timetable, so there's time for debriefings and for filling in the reflective journal I have to keep. Last week I shadowed one class for an entire day. It was fascinating to see how the pupils behaved differently for different teachers, and to watch them play the field.

As a Graduate Training Programme (GTP) teacher, you don't teach alone - there's always someone observing. Above all, I'm enjoying the variety. This morning I taught a low ability group and we were making lots of noise with a programme called GarageBand. Then I taught a top set and we were deconstructing "Yesterday", and discussing ternary form. The way that I directed the two groups was totally different.

What I've brought with me from TV and radio is a love of multimedia, so I use lots of iMac programmes and projections. You can't just hand out scruffy photocopies - you have to meet young people on their terms and dazzle them from time to time.

I've been taken aback by pupils' enthusiasm. At lunchtime today we had 50 pupils turn up for choir, all clutching a sandwich. They wolfed it down and two minutes later they were singing their hearts out. Wonderful to see. As for me, I'm still learning to pace myself. When I set off, I was trying to do everything, going down the corridor saying: "don't drop that", "take your coat off" and so on.

I like to think I'm tough, but by the end of the first week I was shattered.

Chris Loosemore, 48, is on the music GTP at Aldworth Science College in Basingstoke. He was talking to Steven Hastings.

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