At the Drop of a Hat: Adventures of a Supply Teacher

Dr John Ridley

Yorkshire & Humber
Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
University Lecturer
Paid: £40 - £80
24th February 2018
Education | Humour | Schools | Story Telling

Following his retirement as a headmaster, John was a part-time supply teacher for three years. Armed with his experience of the classroom, his love of children's literature, a guitar and a little maths magic, he taught in a wide variety of primary schools across the north of England, often with very little notice. Equally at home in small village schools and large urban academies, John talks about his experiences in the classroom and the imaginative strategies he used to engage his pupils.

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About Dr John Ridley

John's teaching experience has been in primary and secondary schools and in April 2009 he retired after twenty-one years as a primary headteacher. He trained at Ripon College (Leeds University) and, after completing an MA in Primary Education at the University of York, he began teaching with the Open University. In 2010 he returned to teach with the Open University and tutors 'Children's Literature' and 'Learning and teaching in the primary years'. As a Research Associate with the National College for School Leadership, and with their sponsorship, he completed his Doctorate in Education. He enjoys life with his family in rural North Yorkshire. Through his talks John raises funds for the charity Action for Children.

Talks are available online and include powerpoint presentations

Previous Bookings: Wesley Guild Richmond, Wesley Guild Cotherstone, Newton-le-Willows WI, East Witton WI, Richmond U3A, Harrogate Friendship Club, Ure WI, Bedale Methodist Church, Bainbridge WI, Richmond Mothers’ Union, Melsonby WI, Wensleydale Wives, Bedale Probus, Northallerton Stroke Forward, Staindrop Over 60s, Swale WI, Ingleton WI, Ravensworth WI, Richmond WI, Manfield WI, Gayle Ladies, National Trust Supporters in Knaresborough Golf Club, St Agatha’s Gilling West, Kirby Sigston WI, Harrogate Ladies’ Forum, Upper Wharfedale Field Society in the Octagon Theatre Grassington, Wetherby Classic Car Club, East Witton W I, Richmond WI, Cleveland Outlook, Out and About in Yorkshire (Knaresborough), Cameo Richmond, Staindrop WI, Sessay Tuesday Club, Women in Middleham, Stainton and Streatlam WI, Cotherstone Over Sixties, Sessay Tuesday Club, Burneston and Carthorpe WI, Thirlby Local History Group, Haxby and Wigginton Local History Group, Barkisland Active Together, Barkisland Cricket Club, Halifax, Ben Rydding MHA Ilkley, Bardsey-Cum-Rigton WI, Scorton Buddies, and Thirsk U3A.

2020 Bookings: 12.05.20 Batley and Dewsbury Probus Club 27.05.20 Shipley Retired Men's Forum 10.09.20 Otley Historical Society 24.09.20 Harrogate, Women in Fellowship 17.12.20 Poppleton WI, York

Comments: 'Dr John Ridley spoke to us about his experiences as a teacher and headteacher in small village primary schools in North Yorkshire. His stories, including endearing anecdotes about individual children, demonstrated the positive affection which characterises his memories of a long and rewarding career.' (Upper Wharfedale Field Society, Octagon Theatre, Grassington, 2016)

'Dr Ridley came to talk to our Tuesday Club on 13th February 2018. He shared anecdotes and reminiscences of his career as a village headmaster. It brought back memories for members of our group, as well as giving us a lot of enjoyment. We have invited him back to speak to us again. Thank you Dr Ridley.' (Sessay Tuesday Club, 2018)

'Dr John Ridley was our guest speak at our Women's Institute meeting. It was a very interesting and amusing talk about being a teacher and headmaster in North Yorkshire. This was a great reminder to us all about the time when there were no risk assessments to take pupils on outdoor activities or regulations about watching recorded school programmes with a class full of children in someone’s front room. School was a fun place to be not only as a pupil but as a teacher. I am sure that his pupils will have lots of positive thoughts about the time they spent at school as he has being a teacher in a long and rewarding career.' (Barsdey-cum-Rigton WI, July 2019)

'Thank you so much Dr John Ridley! Your light hearted and humourous talk 'A Village Headmaster' kept us all captivated, it was a wonderful afternoon!' (Scorton Buddies, November 2019)

'It was a pleasure to have John speak to us at our U3A meeting. He was very informative and amusing. We all thoroughly enjoyed his talk and look forward to seeing him again at some future date.' (Thirsk U3A, March 2020)

Other Talks on SpeakerNet by Dr John Ridley

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