We are delighted to have Daniel Martin (OE2016) joining the Physics department in September 2021. We caught up with Dan to find out more about his experience at Emanuel and what he’s been up to since leaving.

How well do you remember your first day at Emanuel and who was your first form teacher?

I remember it very well. It felt like an eight-mile-long walk from the gate, down the drive, to the main school building. My form tutor was Neil Mullen who was well practiced in the arts of Year 7 form and guided us very well. I think the best part was meeting people in my form I’m still friends with now.

If you were to call yourself a ‘prodigy’ of these three big Physics names: Dancy, King or Morrison-Bartlett, which one would it be?  

Of those three I was only taught by Mr King so I’d have to say him. That said, Dr Dancy ran Physics Olympiad and Mrs Morrison-Bartlett was my form tutor in Sixth Form so they all had some part to play in my school career. Miss Evanna Hunter (Wilbraham) deserves a shout out too as she taught me Physics from Year 9 to Upper Sixth!

Sum up for us how you’re gone from leaving Emanuel in 2016 to returning as a teacher later this year?

I went to the University of Birmingham to study Physics after I left school. In my final year I was able to complete a module called “teaching physics in schools” which saw me placed in a local school and, well, teaching Physics. I had a lot of fun and felt very at ease in the classroom, so I knew this was a potential career for me. Additionally, I had coached football for a few years before going to university and became part of the coaching setup with the men’s and then women’s teams at the university during my degree. I love coaching and so, for a year after graduating, I took an opportunity to work full time as a coach with both the university and West Bromwich Albion’s Regional Talent Club. I decided, however, that I had preferred my time teaching in the classroom to coaching on the football pitch. I moved back to London in June and started my PGCE at St Mary’s University last September. This year I’ve worked through the course whilst still coaching with a local women’s team. In December, I noticed an advert for ‘Teacher of Physics’ at Emanuel and I applied. A few weeks later I was delighted to accept the job and am really looking forward to starting in September.

Are you going to struggle calling your former teachers (now your colleagues) by their first names?

I am sure it will take some getting used to – particularly for Mr Andrews… or should I say Shaun.

What was your favourite book Mr Jones from the library recommended you?  

Probably The Circle by Dave Eggers (although I really enjoyed Bird Box by Josh Malerman too). But he never recommended me a book I didn’t enjoy!

What sorts of things are you looking forward to get involved in? Clubs, sport etc….

I’m hoping I can get involved with coaching football. It’s a school sport now and it will be great to help school players develop their skills and maybe even go on a cup run or two.

How have you coped with the various lockdowns?

I’ve done ok. I think the first one was the hardest – I had little to do so I got bored very quickly. For the second and third lockdowns I’ve been busy with teaching so it’s been less noticeable. I’m definitely looking forward to life opening up again though and the odd visit to institutions like The Roundhouse.

How has studying for a PGCE been during the lockdown period?

It’s hard to compare as I don’t really know how it would have been different in a Covid-free world. Teaching online was certainly a challenge, but I do feel it made me rethink some of what I was doing in the classroom, and improve my teaching since we’ve been back in school.

Thanks for spending some time with us Daniel and we are looking forward to welcoming you (back) to Emanuel in September.