Daniel Ferguson

Head of Design Technology, Les Quennevais School

No one day is typical. Each day brings its own unique and surprising set of odd and brilliant encounters. I arrive at 7.30am to
prepare for the day, teach 5 to 6 lessons. I also have after school clubs or meetings. Design and Technology is such a far-reaching subject that lessons can stretch from learning about materials, recycling plastics to making Bluetooth amplifiers and 3D printing using Hemp.

How did you get your job?
I studied a BA (Hons) in Three-Dimensional Design at De Montfort University. I worked as a designer, engineer and architectural modeller before completing my PGCE in Secondary Design and Technology. After gaining experience teaching at several schools I had a panel interview for my current role, including teaching a lesson. Teacher training is a demanding process, but the job is incredibly rewarding.

What motivates you in your role?
We all have access to the wealth of human knowledge on our mobile phones. I aim to inspire students to continue to learn and be more inquisitive than watching cat videos. I hope to pass on my passion about my subject, enabling students to think creatively and apply this across their entire life.

Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role?
It’s about blending technology with the right curriculum design. Nowadays, I’m working to move away from traditional methods of teaching and using more creative and abstract ways of presenting topics and this involves continuous professional development. Digital literacy skills can also be paired with developing soft skills such as design thinking and numeracy skills.

What are the three most important skills required for your role?
Enthusiasm, dedication and resilience.
You will need enthusiasm for the subjects you teach; dedication
refers to a love of teaching, which includes a commitment to
students’ success and resilience to help overcome the multiple and
complex challenges teachers face every day; to have the courage and energy to push for change despite opposition to these challenges.

What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession?
If a teacher inspires you, learn from them and let that inspiration help you grow. Read up on the subject in your own time and show interest in the related current educational issues. Remember to learn from failure, you will not always succeed at everything, some of the best lessons you will have come from constantly working towards improving yourself and your craft, commitment and enthusiasm can lead to incredible things.

FUN FACT
The word encyclopaedia literally means a “circle of learning” and was originally used to indicate a well-rounded education. It wasn’t a book of general knowledge until the 17th century.