Sunday 20th June 2021

...with Lee Rowland & Mr Hicks

News from Alumni

A five-minute Q&A with Mr Lee Rowlands, Alumni of the college and now an Assistant Headteacher at Archbishop Beck Catholic College.

(This is the first of a series of Q&A's with former students who are now teachers at the college)

"Be human. Laugh. Be approachable." Lee Rowlands 2021

What do you value in people?

Integrity, sincerity, valuing people and treating them equally. People who help and do good without expecting anything in return. People who celebrate others’ success and build others up instead of viewing everyone as competition.

A belief that family is of fundamental importance A belief that honesty is always the best policy and that trust has to be earned, A belief in maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

What do you like most about yourself?

Positive attitude, high energy, always wanting to learn, determination, resilience and family orientated.

What does your job entail?

Physical Education teacher and Assistant Headteacher here at Archbishop Beck. Delivery of A Level PE and Cambridge National qualification A range of responsibilities that include overseeing the pastoral care of 190 students, careers programme and many more that require me to report to our Headteacher.

How and why did you get into an educational career?

A passion for physical education and to make a difference to students experiences of physical education. I believe education is a gift and a privilege that everyone must have access to. As a teacher I facilitate that process and make learning accessible through ideas that are fun and engaging.

What do you most like about teaching?

When  students receive the best education, enabling then to succeed in later life. I enjoy teaching, there is a flow of interactive communication between you and the students. Also working with students, sharing knowledge and sometimes learning from them.

What do you dislike about teaching?

That's a tough question. I was thinking about things I actually dislike and trying to think of a positive way to spin it. Mine would be the amount of unnecessary paperwork that takes me away from actual planning and working with the students.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

Initially, I was told I needed to gain more experience prior to embarking on my PGCE course. This resulted in me completing various coaching qualifications and experience in schools for the next academic year. I was then accepted on to my teaching qualification. Whilst in post I have faced various set backs on the leadership pathway, however the setbacks I faced developed me as a teacher/leader to succeed.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in teaching?

If you are passionate about a particular subject and want to impart your knowledge to others, then go for it. Find an age of students that you enjoy working with the most. Teaching is certainly not for everyone. Your first year or two will be very difficult, as you learn how to teach young people and respond effectively to everything that is thrown at you. At the beginning of my career I had my own doubts, but now 16 years later there is nothing else I could imagine myself doing. I believe teaching is a role that is on-the-job and you grow into, and continue to evolve into. Be human. Laugh. Be approachable.

What are you most proud of in your career?

The influence and difference you can have on so many lives, as well as me progressing on to become an Assistant Headteacher.

What do you do to relax?

Spend time with my family and friends, play golf, coach football and I enjoy running and keeping fit.

What was it like being a student at the college?

Very different to that of today! I studied at Archbishop Beck Catholic College from 1993 to 2000, when it was split on two sites and eventually attended what was called the ‘upper school’ in year 9. The environment the students are in today is much more modern which in turn provides a purposeful learning environment. Staff were extremely supportive and some became colleagues when I joined as a teacher in 2005! Very strange experience and I refused to go into the staffroom initially!! The PE department and the staff there stick in my mind and they are the reason I am a PE teacher today!!

"Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system." Sidney Hook

Post script:

Thank you, Lee, it has been a pleasure to have this short session with you and thank you for being at the heart of our college community. This is the first in a series this year of featuring staff who were students at the college. With very best wishes in the years ahead. Bruce Hicks


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