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Tom came to teaching with one goal in mind – to be an inspiration. He continues this mission by providing workshops for students and teachers in all aspects of learning to learn.


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Tom Barwood

My constant joke with caretakers or site supervisors when we are left to put the chairs and tables out at a school workshop is - 'It wasn't like this in Vegas you know'. To date (fortunately) only one of them has believed me.

Like all things though within my little quip lies a grain of truth. Actually more than a grain - maybe a sheaf or a bushel! As I tell students, whilst I have many academic credentials for my job, what gets me out of bed in the morning is the opportunity and enjoyment of presenting - which includes showing off and telling my stories and dreadful jokes.

Basically the bigger the 'gig' (a word my mum still likes to pronounce jig) the happier I am. Having done a series of Learn to Learn workshops at Bedford Modern School over the years I daren't tell them that two of the things that kept me coming back was the chance to project my slides onto their lovely big screen and strut my stuff in their very well equipped theatre.

BMS School Theatre

BMS School Theatre

Despite this repeated opportunity I still hankered for more and so when I went back to the school at which I was once a teacher -  Northampton School for Boys (who have an even better theatre) I knew that this was my moment. Paul Dix was due to deliver a presentation on behaviour management so I thought 'well if he can, so can I'. Not sure that he or the school saw it like that for which I apologise but I had to do it. Here is a clip of that show in all it's glory!

So was it a sell out? Not quite; 36 people turned up who were mainly family and friends. Did it make money? - don't even mention it. Did I enjoy it? Yes, yes and yes unreservedly.

I did what I said what I was going to do, my good friend John Bassett and a camera team from the aforementioned BMS filmed the event but more importantly everyone was really impressed but on a level which I hadn't expected. They were both surprised and congratulatory.

I also learned a lot about my need to slow down, speak more clearly and stand straighter but more importantly to believe in what I do. So when Elton and Celine have finished their residencies then it can only be a matter of time before I get my turn! Viva Las....