Staff Spotlight - Philip Stanton
The second in our Staff Spotlight series features Head of DofE, Mr Stanton.
How would you summarise what you do?
Above all things, my job involves shaping young people and influencing them to allow them to develop and grow into responsible adults that have plethora of opportunities. The focus of the job, for me, is facilitating and nurturing their development, mentally and academically.
I am lucky enough to have two elements to my job. I teach geography about how the world works and how it's all linked on this blue planet. In the classroom we discuss how climate change can be influenced by urbanisation and the behaviour of humans. Also, never forgetting that we all need to know how an Oxbow lake’s formed.
Then as Head of Year, I am lucky enough to represent years 9, 10, 11. I go through with them from year nine all the way up to GCSEs, and it's helping them giving them guidance and encouragement, motivation and coordination.
I also head up the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the school, which is aimed at year 9, which is bronze, and year 11 which is silver, and gold which is year 12. The award involves volunteering, physical skills and expeditions, all of which key in development. It's about making them aware of other things happening in the world in line with the principles of the Duke of Edinburgh and allowing them to have initiative and be able to do things outside the classroom.
What are your favourite parts of the job?
I think my favourite part of the job is being out on expeditions with silver and gold in beautiful landscapes and seeing people thrive outside the classroom. I am very lucky to be involved in such as valuable experience with the students.
What would you say is the most fun activity or trip or experience that you do here?
There's so many to choose from, but I certainly enjoy the school ski trip of which allows staff and students to get active and have lots of fun. Additionally, I look forward to the DofE expeditions every year.
What is your favourite memory of working at Lingfield?
Getting off Scafell Pike at 2:00 in the morning with a group of students completing the three peaks challenge with four students in under 24 hours. We drove up to Scotland, started at the bottom of Ben Nevis, and I had another member of staff who drove. So I led it, and the other member of staff stayed in the car park, we came down, and he then drove us down to Scafell Pike getting there about 9:00 I think. So we went as the sun was dropping, We went up and got up to Scafell Pike at about midnight and then went down and then as we were driving through the night, there was a hairy bit because the driver and I shared the driving.
So that was a bit of a challenge. Yes, I don’t think health and safety would let us do that.
What inspired you to work in education?
This is my ninth year teaching, yet I still feel I'm new to teaching because I wasn't a teacher before I came here. I was in fact an officer in the army for 25 years, meaning I got to travel all over the world to some obviously not pleasant places. I decided then that I wanted a change of career.
So, I took early retirement and jumped into teaching. Little did I know how hard those first two years were going to be, but I can fairly say that it has most definitely paid off.
I believe education is about people being with people, being around people, being motivated by people and their enthusiasm, you can't put a price on that.
What did you want to be when you grew up when you were younger?
I grew up in a school in Yorkshire, but I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I thought I was going to end up as a farmer at one point. Anyway, I didn't have a clear vision. I bundled through until I joined the army.
Which would benefit or perk is your favourite?
I think the best thing is being in the same school that my children are in. That's one of the reasons I went into teaching. Going to spy on them. They don't find me cringey at all...promise. Anyway it's nice to have a family environment within my work environment.
If you have a bad day, how do turn it into a good one?
I like to think of myself as a positive person therefore if things are going bad, you've got to look at the positive side. I probably inculcated that in the army. You know when you’re miserable, wet, and cold, there is always going to be someone worse off than you.
You've always got to look for the positives and try to be happy.
Are you a reader? If not, are there any hobbies you get involved with?
I am a reader. I'm reading Empire of Pain, at the moment, which is about the Sackler family, pharmaceutical doctors. Interestingly they invented oxycontin, it caused a drug epidemic, which was disastrous for America. But the Sacklers are philanthropists. The Tate Modern has got the Sackler wing and all over the world, there are museums and educational places, and hospitals have got the Sackler wing. So they made a fortune out of pain.
I wish I could read more to be honest and would recommend everyone picks up a book once in a while.
Do you like travelling? Do you have a destination? So what's next on your list?
I would love to go to Antarctica in the future.
Additionally, I would like to go to Iceland but I always miss the school trip as I am usually on DofE.
If you could quickly and easily learn any new skill, what would you do?
Definitely a language. I would like to speak French, in particular. I would push anyone to consider a language as a subject as it give you a wider understanding of specific culture.
What’s the best thing that's happened to you so far this week?
Appreciation. A thank you from the student I would have least expected it from. Just a thank you. Sometimes some people do it all the time. And then once in a while, you get a word, and it means more.