Meet Douglas Parr, Teacher for Computing
Why did you decide to teach at a UTC?
Someone I know recommended UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to me, and I saw that it had a STEM focus, which I found appealing and incredibly exciting. The UTC has a major specialism in computing, which stood out to me, and it has a good reputation, so I was keen to be involved and make a difference here. I wanted to teach at the UTC, because I am enthusiastic to support the students and help towards motivating them to achieve their goals. The UTC has great connections with employers, which also attracted me to this role.
How did you get into teaching?
I returned to education and completed an access course when I was 24, and proceeded to study Software Engineering at degree level, as I had planned to become a Games Programmer. After university, I worked as a qualified Software Engineer, where I developed lots of valuable technical skills. I have vast range of experience in teaching, as I have worked in secondary schools, colleges, primary schools, and taught at degree level, so I have experience of teaching in a range of different environments. I also have an interest in photography, film making and music, so I have enjoyed using my creative skills to try to make computing exciting for students.
What do you find interesting about computing?
I’ve always been interested in sci-fi and special effects, so I thought computing would be a great career pathway. I have built and upgraded many computers over the past 30 years, which encouraged me to pursue a career in this industry, as I loved problem solving and building my IT skills. Computing is used a lot nowadays, so I think it is important to learn as much as possible about it.
What skills do you think computing students need?
Computing students need problem-solving skills, and the ability to work independently and use their own initiative, as this subject can be challenging at times. Additionally, it is important that they can communicate their ideas with each other and work in a team to tackle challenges and projects. Students will need to be passionate about learning new skills and software, as computing is always changing. Resilience is key.
What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I am looking forward to working in a new learning environment, with students who are genuinely interested in computing and motivated to build new skills. I am also enthusiastic about students teaching me new skills and challenging my academic knowledge, as I want to learn from them and be as knowledgeable in this industry as possible.