a bit about me

I’m a Biology teacher. But I came to Biology relatively late. I studied English Literature at university, switching to Zoology in my final year, a decision that has basically shaped the rest of my life. I mucked about in Uganda for 5 years watching antelope copulate and photographing chimpanzees, before eventually doing a PhD (on red-billed oxpeckers) in Zimbabwe.

oxpecker

red billed oxpecker

 

All of this was useful in confirming that I would make a useless academic/photographer/development worker/student of English, so I decided to try teaching. I did my PGCE and started as a Biology teacher at St Pauls in London in 2000.

To cut a long story short…. teaching has worked out OK. I like working with young people, I like the autonomy of the classroom, I like the creativity required to plan successful lessons. And over the years…

….I have come to realise that my job is not to deliver information to students, but to get them excited about Biology. If I can do that, then everything else that teachers generally worry about (exam grades, mainly) takes care of itself. And I also believe that the best way to excite students in science lessons is to make it like science – in other words, a way of answering interesting questions through experiment.

So I like my students to do as much of the work as possible, and to say as little as possible myself. For me, a successful lesson is one where I’ve been able to make a coffee and tidy my desk while my students busy themselves with some investigation. I think that if students spend a lesson copying notes from the board, then that lesson has been wasted, as the students will not have learned anything and, worse, they will have been bored rigid.

The aim of this blog is to share some of my ideas and resources with other biology teachers.

2 thoughts on “a bit about me

  1. Ruth Huddleston

    Reading with interest your blog and wondering how you have managed to stay so enthusiastic after all these years! I did my PGCE with you and we were all in awe of the all singing all dancing Paul and I can see you have maintained that AND managed to create a family of Weeks’s! I also see you were also awarded biology teacher of 2015! Well done you! I have also created a fabulous family and still teach Biology with a degree of passion but nothing like the explosive interest you clearly have. Maybe you could enter a blog about maintaining a love of teaching, or how to encourage the jaded NQT? I see many excellent young science teachers come into education and have all their umph umphed out of them by the end of term and find this unbearably sad.
    Keep up the amazing work!
    Ruth Huddleston (nee Gibbs) 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. paulweeks2014 Post author

      Dear Ruth,
      How lovely to hear from you! I often wonder what happened to the other people on the PGCE course – great to hear that you’re still teaching and have made a family. What do you have? I’ve got 3 boys, 9, 7 and 5. Thanks for the idea about a blog post – I agree that it’s sad to see talented science teachers leave the profession. I’ll have a think.
      Best wishes
      Paul

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