Overview

A former Northumberland College student, Connor returned in 2015 as a volunteer Classroom Assistant before becoming a part-time Lecturer alongside studying for his PGCE. He joined the college’s academic staff full-time in 2019.

As well as being an experienced IT Technician, Connor is also a Detachment Commander with Northumbria Army Cadets where he plans training, development and achievement in military subjects.

I am a former Northumberland College, student, completing my Extended Diploma in IT in 2013 and then my BSc (Hons) Computer Science at Northumbria University. I came back to the college to complete my teacher training and PGCE via the University of Huddersfield.

I have worked at Northumberland College since 2015, starting off as a Classroom Assistant as a volunteer then completing the following year as an Associate Lecturer while studying my PGCE. I then moved over to the Tutorial Mentor Team for 18 months before returning to IT to become a full-time Lecturer.

As a student I worked within IT Tech Support for a year as a Line2 Technician. During my time at university I used the summer months to gain employment with law firms such as Ward Haddaway.

I have worked at Northumberland College since 2015, starting off as a Classroom Assistant as a volunteer before completing the following year as an Associate Lecturer while studying for my PGCE. I then moved over to Tutorial Mentor Team for 18 months before returning

to IT to become a full-time Lecturer and Course Team Leader for Level 3 Year 1.

I am Course Team Leader for Level 3 Year 1 in IT. I also teach across our range of courses from Level 1 to HNC. I deliver the web development, programming, systems analysis and Human Computer Interaction elements.

As a ‘home-grown’ student, I knew how good the quality of teaching and learning is here. I understand the students and where they have come from so I can cater to how they learn best.

Seeing the students’ progress from Level 2 to gaining places at university and being able to demonstrate their learning in the products they create for actual clients.

Seeing how impressed one of our clients was when they saw the website our group of Level 3 students had created for them. It was far better than she expected.

Making the difference to our students’ thoughts on programming and the ‘duller’ subjects in computer science.

Without education or the thirst to learn I feel people would not have as much drive to work or to succeed. It is the foundation of a successful career.

I feel for some students it gives them stability and progression in learning a new subject.

Sales Assistant in the family’s car parts shop.

Progression and want to learn new material that is current and useful in their future careers.

Mavis Durkin, who gave me a second chance after I failed Sixth Form. The teaching and assessment style were not correct for my learning. Mavis took the time to make sure I understood the content and wasn’t scared to tell me when I was doing something wrong in class in life.

She guided me to the career I have today and made sure I knew what the next steps were to get where I wanted to go.

Even if it isn’t perfect, you made your best efforts. Not everything is perfect and, in fact, imperfections make something unique.

Energetic, enthusiastic, nerdy.

Just try harder and do what your peers and teachers tell you as they are only trying to help.

Outdoor activity, walking, computer games and Army Cadets.

My timeline

  • 2012

    Became an Adult Instructor with Northumberland Army Cadet Force.

  • 2013

    Became Detachment Commander of Newbiggin Army Cadet Force.

  • 2015

    Started volunteering with Northumberland College

  • 2016

    Became a part time Lecturer in IT at Northumberland College

  • 2017

    Passed Army Officer Selection Board assessment and gained a commission with the Army Cadet Force.

    Became a Tutorial Mentor at Northumberland College

  • 2019

    Became a full-time lecturer and Course Team Leader in IT with Northumberland College.

  • 2020

    Due to complete Adult Leadership and Mentoring (ALM) course and gain promotion to Lieutenant at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.