What I wish I knew as an NQT/ECT

What I wish I knew about science with Danny Nicholson

June 1, 2022

Danny Nicholson, like many youngsters, wanted to be a vet. But having done a degree in animal biology at Birmingham University, the teaching bug began to bite. Now some 25 years later Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and Computing / Interactive Whiteboard Trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. He has also been a co-writer of many of the primary science schemes used by schools today and he has created the Reach Out CPD course for Imperial College London. He also writes about science education and regularly blogs his ideas so that everyone can share his expertise. He's happy to share these with you too! (see below)

In this podcast we talk about ...

  • Why sharing your ideas, especially the best ones, can help everyone can benefit from your expertise.
  • Teaching can sometimes be seen as a back-up career plan but as soon as you find out more about what it entails and get in the classroom that idea quickly goes out of the window, especially when you also like the sound of your own voice!
  • What an incredibly varied job teaching is. It is a job that is never boring as there are so many challenges.
  • How secondary science teaching can pose quite a few problems, especially when the students are much taller than you!
  • What do you do when a student comes in drunk? Get him off to hospital as soon as possible is the best answer.
  • Why going down Brighton sewers with a group of students was so interesting, especially when coming up in the middle of the high street.
  • How difficult it is for schools keep up with changes in IT - laptops, computer suites, iPads, apps, websites - phew it's complex.
  • The excitement of being an internet pioneer in schools. Danny organised a website project with his students when the internet was in its infancy and won a competition.  At the awards night, Danny got to meet TV star Jamie Theakston which was really cool.
  • How having a real audience for children's work can be very motivating and truly valuable because children then have a purpose for their work.
  • The importance of being enthusiastic when teaching science; better still be very enthusiastic. And if you don't feel 100% you've got to blag it so children think you are loving every minute.
  • Why you should never be worried about not knowing an answer to a child's science question, because in science there is loads of stuff we don't know, so enjoy finding out as much as you can together.
  • Getting children talking is so important as they can share their ideas and develop their thinking about new and novel ideas. The importance of this cannot be overestimated. 
  • The reason myth busting is such an important thing to do as a science teacher. There is so much false information that is in the public domain through social media, that we must help children to be skilled at seeing through untruths by analysing evidence. Asking children why they think something, then asking them to prove it is a great way to bust myths.
  • Science lessons are a great way to provide opportunities for application of learning from other curriculum areas. A cross-curricular approach can be really powerful for this, even when Ofsted come calling.
  • Why watching other teachers is an essential way of developing your own practice.

You can connect with Danny on ...

Twitter @dannynic (http://www.twitter.com/dannynic)

And you can find many of Danny's ideas here ...

Danny Nic's Science Fix - Practical Science Ideas and Support

The Whiteboard Blog - Education, Technology and Science CPD and Support

You can also find him on YouTube here

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