English and Drama teacher, Mr Jack Kelway, tells all in this week's Teacher Feature.
What is your role at College?
In 2014, I started at College as a Teacher of English and Resident Tutor in Hazelwell. I am now teaching both Drama and English, and I am also Master in Charge of Squash, having previously coached rugby and tennis too. I also currently run Cheltenham Authors, the creative writing club, as well as being involved in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
What did you do before you came to College?
My teaching career initially took me to Aiglon College, an international school in Switzerland. I then taught in London, at both JAGS and Channing School, before nipping off to Gran Canaria for a year at Oakley College.
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
Bizarrely, Nottingham Forest never seemed interested in picking me as a fairly immobile yet ever-ambitious playmaker, so the football career stalled at the playground gates. I considered journalism, but a week working at the local paper, where our front-page news was about the potholes in the road, put me off a little. Writing is a passion of mine and I would love to emulate William Golding, also a teacher, who supposedly knocked together Lord of the Flies in his summer holidays.
What is your favourite thing about College life?
The puddings at lunch have to be right up there. I try to limit myself to one per meal, but you can judge my workload fairly accurately by the number of puddings on my tray. Aside from that, it is the students who make this place great. On the whole, they seem to realise that students and teachers are on the same side, fighting for the same goals, and this makes for a friendly and purposeful workplace.
What are you reading at the moment?
I have just finished The Leopard, by Giuseppe di Lampedusa. It is a beautifully written novel about the crumbling aristocracy of Sicily in the 19th Century. It’s not full of action, but it hums with humour on every page.
Other than your own, what was your favourite subject at school?
History. We all seek to learn from the mistakes we make in our own lives; studying History seems essential to achieve this on a wider scale. It also contains such fascinating stories, such as the protracted death of Rasputin and the eloquence of Olaudah Equiano.
If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what is the first thing that you would do?
I would set about changing the nature of parliamentary debates, particularly Prime Minister’s Questions, which I find excruciating to watch due to the boorish and childish atmosphere that exists - my Fifth Form debate with far more decorum and skill than is on show at PMQs.