School of the Month – Let’s meet the Head Teacher

Our featured school of the month is Churchill Community College, today we talk to Paul Johnson, the Head Teacher.

When did you get your first headship and where was it?
Churchill Community College – Sept 2020

Did you always know that you wanted to become a teacher?
No! My first choice course for university was drama. I had done some work experience in Pinewood Studios and had ambitions to join the film industry.

Have you done any other jobs?
I worked as an IT Manager for a small business for 2 years, doing programming and some graphic design work.

Have you always lived in the North East?
No – I was born on the South Coast and grew up in Hertfordshire (near London), but have been in the North East since the 1990s.

How many staff are you responsible for?
150

What’s the most challenging thing about being a head teacher?
At the moment Covid!! It is a very varied job and involves having to know about a wide range of different things.

Could you guess how many students you have taught?
Thousands!

What was your favourite subject to teach?
Philosophy – especially the mind-body problem. It’s fascinating!!

What makes a good teacher?
Someone who has a passion for supporting young people and helping them to learn – and who knows and loves their subject

Did you enjoy school?
Most of it – there were times when I found it difficult, but I was lucky to have some fantastic teachers to support me

Do you have a favourite take away meal?
Not really – I like a bit of variety

Do you have any pets?
As a family we have two rabbits

What really makes you scared?
I fear for young people and children, especially my own, who, because of the internet, are exposed to so many influences through the media, especially social media, which can be very negative and even exploitative – and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to monitor what they are doing and keeping them safe
What really makes you happy?
Walks in the countryside, and playing board games with family and friends

At school do you have a reserved parking space?
No

Whilst you have undoubtedly inspired many children, who inspires you?
My late father-in-law, who was a headteacher for 20 years before setting up a motivational organisation to support schools. And Barack Obama as a leader, motivator and speaker

For any young people reading this, why should they consider a career in teaching?
It’s incredibly rewarding and an enormous privilege to know you are making a difference to the lives of young people and will have an impact on the whole of their lives.