6th May 2020
We spoke to Stafford College's Curriculum Leader for Higher Education and BTEC Sport, Jack Bullock, to find out more about his past experiences and why he loves working for the College.
Q: Tell us about your experiences before joining the college.
A: I have worked at NSCG since February 2013, so just over seven years. Prior to my employment here I had been a student studying for my undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Sport and Exercise. Alongside my studies I gained employment on a part-time basis in sport, whether that was teaching as part of sport coaching companies in local schools or as a lifeguard at local leisure centres, as well as volunteering in schools to gain the experience I needed.
Q: Are you a keen sports person yourself? What is your favourite sport to participate in?
A: My whole life has revolved around sport! Football is without doubt my first love, and despite the consistent and inevitable heartbreak that comes with being a Walsall and England fan I can never get enough. My other keen sport interests are Cricket and Golf.
Q: Who is your favourite sports personality and why?
A: Lionel Messi. Aside from being the greatest footballer that’s ever lived; his management of pressure and adversity alongside his commitment and drive to consistently improve and win is admirable.
Q: Did you go straight into teaching or did you work in the sports industry prior to teaching?
A: My first full-time employment was as a lecturer at Stafford but having worked with children and young people a lot it was a relatively comfortable transition.
Q: Why did you decide to get into teaching?
A: Like many who teach, I was inspired by those who taught me. I am grateful for the teachers who put in the hard work for me throughout my education but two lecturers for whom I was a tutee at University really standout. They captured and enhanced my intrigue so I naturally wanted to follow in their footsteps; so thank you, Professor Ken Green and Professor Andy Smith. Fundamentally, too, I want to make a difference – what better way is there to do that than to teach?
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: Easy – a student who has worked hard and achieves their goal. A student’s journey could be in the space of a lesson, or take weeks, months or years. In so many cases I have been a part of a student’s experience for four or five years; a journey like that takes consistent drive, dedication and hard work, and when their end goal is realised… that feeling is brilliant.
Q: If you weren’t teaching, what do you think you would be doing now?
A: That’s a difficult one because much of what I’ve ever done has revolved around sport or education so I followed my passion and I’m fortunate that I get to piece the two together as my job. I guess I’d be working in sport in some capacity but what that would be I have no idea. If we’re talking about following your dreams then maybe I would be playing for England at the next World Cup…
Q: What challenges have you faced getting to where you are now?
A: Principally, I demand a lot of myself, so I think overcoming those demands has actually been – and continues to be – tough going. But like any student, maintaining the motivation and dedication needed to achieve can be a major challenge. Life happens and sometimes gets in the way, so I guess managing all that life throws at you – whether that be managing your time, addressing any personal circumstances, or even facing a poor grade on an assignment – is most important. If you’re resilient and persevere then you can achieve a lot of things.
Q: You are studying yourself for your PhD. How do you juggle your own studies with teaching?
A: Like any student, time management and organisation are essential skills. Combine that with a passion for what you’re studying and what you’re doing as a job it becomes as manageable as it can be.
Q: Finally, do you have any advice for students looking to study Higher Education at NSCG?
A: Commit to it and embrace the different HE reality that is offered here. For years now I’ve seen how much of a difference studying HE at NSCG can do for a student. It offers an incredible alternative HE experience that can help to cater for the widest range of prospective students one can imagine. Whether that student is a young person who completed their A Levels exceptionally well, an individual who fell out of love with education but wants to reengage, or a mature student who would like to retrain, HE at NSCG can offer outstanding possibilities and continues to help hundreds of students every year to realise their potential and their ambitions.
For more information on our Higher Education courses at Stafford College, download our prospectus today!