My Pen Portrait is below.
My name is Jim Baker. I retired from full‐time teaching in August 2008 after 38 years at Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, Lincoln (formerly Lincoln School). I was Head of Chemistry and Deputy Head of Science in charge of behavioural management within Science when I retired.
During the 1990s our School was at the forefront of student‐teacher training in schools and I was our school’s chief mentor and liaison officer with Sheffield Hallam University. During my time in that role our school was highly regarded by Sheffield Hallam University, so much so that they asked us to take part in one of their OFSTED inspections.
After coaching other staff to take on that role, I became involved with mentoring NQTs in Science.
In 1997, I got to the final 13 in the Salter's ’Chemistry Teacher of the Year’ award and in my penultimate year of teaching, I was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.
I created my website www.jimbakersonlinelearning.co.uk initially to promote independent learning amongst my Chemists but my site quickly grew to cover links to many subjects and areas including Teacher Training. It is now used worldwide by students, teachers and parents as can be seen from the comments in my guestbook.
I have just delivered a SKE (subject knowledge enhancement) course for EM Direct and the comments (#195‐197) from trainees on that course ‘say it all’
During my time as a mentor on the ‘Starting Out’ programme I initiated videoconferencing with both my mentees and fellow mentors. The comments from my mentees have been very praising of both my methods and manner in dealing with them. In addition to mentoring/advising less experienced colleagues, areas of expertise are knowledge of Chemistry, maximizing potential and advising students and teachers on ‘what really works’.
The advice I offer is obtained from 38 very successful years at the ‘chalk‐face’, not from books or the ‘fashion of the day’.
I have a passion for education that continues into my semi‐retirement. I mentor Chemistry students in two local secondary schools in order to improve their grades and have Chemistry students world‐wide emailing me for advice and help. When I was ‘Head of Chemistry’ the A’level/ AS/A2 Chemistry results were always amongst the best in the school, despite Chemistry being one of the ‘difficult’ subjects (2000 results from 14 candidates: 8 Grade A, 3 Grade B, 3 Grade C)
I realise the huge value of modern technology in teaching and learning and I like to feel that I am at the forefront of using this technology to maximize the learning experience of all I encounter.
2013- : Chemistry Expert for The Chemistry Journey Project for The Virtual School Initiative
2012- : GTN Teacher Adviser
2012-2013: Freelance educational consultant with EM Direct on their Graduate Teacher Programme
2011- : Teaching AS/A2 Chemistry at SSPP
In conclusion, I should just like to reiterate that my 42 very successful years at the ‘chalk‐face’ of the teaching profession has equipped me to be ideally suited to be involved with the training of young Science teachers in ‘what really works and matters’ on a daily basis in the classroom.