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Meet Our Teacher

Meet our teacher: Barry Chaters, PE teacher (Primary)



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What subjects do you teach?

Physical Education

What grade levels have you taught?

Foundation 1 to Year 13

How long have you been teaching?

Currently in my 18th year of teaching

Why did you become a teacher?

I have always had a passion for sport, I have been involved in coaching for as long as I can remember. After falling a little short of my first career goal as a professional footballer, I turned my focus to helping others achieve their goals. I have always had a passion for coaching and teaching.

What is your favourite part about teaching?

I love achieving success. I pride myself on helping others to reach their potential. I have taught many elite athletes and students that have gone on to play at the highest level. Helping students achieve elite level is intrinsically rewarding, however, so is helping students make them breakthroughs such as swim a length of the pool for the first time. The knowledge that you have made a positive impact on a young person’s life is extremely rewarding.

What is your best advice for a beginning teacher? What advice would you give to students considering going into teaching?

First and foremost, teaching should be a passion. Like any careers, I believe you will get out of teaching what you put into it. If your primary motivation is to help others, you will be fine. Teaching is not an easy career and you will always have difficult days, however, the special moments when you help someone achieve something will always be worth it.

What and where else have you taught?

I taught in North London for 7 years, I was a PE teacher for the first 3 years before completing the final 4 years as Head of Physical Education. I arrived at The English College in 2008 as Head of Physical Education. I moved to the pastoral team in 2016 and carried out the role as Head of Year for both Year 12 and Year 13. In 2018 I moved to the Primary school as their first Physical Education teacher.

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college? Who influenced you when you were a student?

I went to Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland which is in the North of England. I loved school, especially the vast amount of sport we had to play. We were a strong sporting school, especially in Football and Rugby. I then attended the University College, Chichester which was previously a teacher training institute, so it was an excellent place to complete my teacher training degree. I also loved the high level of sport and was lucky enough to win the BUSA football championships in my time there. My most influential teacher was ‘Mr Hopper’ who taught me A Level Geography. I still remember his passion for the subject and the way he made Geography so fun, he genuinely cared for his students and really wanted us to do well. I have tried to follow in his footsteps in my own teaching career.

Besides teaching what have you done for work?

During my university days, I used to work in the forestry every summer to help earn some money to fund my studies. The extremely hard labour really taught me a lot about hard work. I always used to think that some of the jobs we had to do should have been saved for convicts as part of their punishment. Years later, I learned that my father had deliberately given me this work to ensure that I tried my best at university so that I did not have to do that work for the rest of my life. The lesson worked! Outside of teaching I have also coached sport at a high level, I coached football in the UK and I have also coached Athletics at a high level.

What are your hobbies? What else do you do for fun?

I love spending time with my family. We are a very sporty family and I spend many hours per week taking my children to their sporting practices and tournaments. I also love to play sport myself; I play football every week and also love to cycle when I can.

If you could be anything else, what career would you pursue?

I would still like to be involved in sport. My dream job would be to work for Sunderland football club, the way they have been playing lately means that I could possibly play for them?

If you could change one thing about The English College, what would it be and why?

I hope the new building will be the springboard to help us return to our former glory days.

What’s your biggest achievement?

Marrying my wife and the birth of our two children.
Winning the Amateur FA Cup in football, twice.
Playing football against France which included marking Zinedine Zidane.
Travelling to Beijing with a team of other teachers to represent two London boroughs as part of the Olympic games’ handover from Beijing to London.
Helping numerous students achieve their goals.