Gordon Duffy McGhie, Director of Teaching & Learning and Student Development at Middlesbrough College took a turn in his career to help revolutionise how we teach in the UK.
Originally a trained actor perfecting his skills in London and Paris, Gordon worked on many freelance roles in TV and theatre travelling around the UK. After 10 years Gordon returned to Middlesbrough where he became the Company Manager for Peter Duncan’s Pantomime.
It wasn’t long after being in post that Gordon was invited to join Middlesbrough College as a guest lecturer after showing staff and students around the theatre.
“I had achieved my training qualifications in 1997 so was able to support the College in lecturing for their performing arts course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the demand for lecturing increased as the popularity of the course naturally grew.
Gordon supported the College with teaching three hours a week which soon increased to full time hours, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
“My acting career took me all over the UK however with family life I decided it made sense to pursue my career in education.
I was constantly living out of a suitcase so the stability and variety of teaching was what I found most appealing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!”
After three years of teaching full time at Middlesbrough College, Gordon completed his PGCE and became a Teaching and Learning mentor working with Sunderland and Teesside University to develop a range of innovative teaching and learning programmes.
“The College were looking for a Director of Teaching and Learning and it sounded like the perfect fit. My kids had left the nest and I thought if I don’t do it now, I never will. So I applied and was offered the job.
My role now is to drive innovation. Seeing how we, as an education provider, can be thought leaders and lead on new and creative learning initiatives.”
And Gordon’s department is doing exactly that, working on new learning materials for the College’s Access to Health Distance Learning programme.
“We have introduced the use of 3D Modelling and 360 walk-throughs for our distance learning modules to bring an online learning environment to life. “
Not only that, Gordon is studying for his PHD with Sunderland University where he is researching ‘How vocational teachers’ experiences implement technological enhanced learning approaches to develop student literacy.’
“I’m presenting to Universities across the country and demonstrating how our staff are engaging in the research.
We need our students to be fluent, confident speakers, especially in the ever-evolving world of technology, to help them really stand out from the crowd and be job ready.
Simple things such as being confident in a Skype interview can really impact on a student’s future career.”
Gordon’s passion for innovation has led him to speak at national conferences such as the AOC to share the research and developments Middlesbrough College has made.
Outside of College Gordon still has time for acting and also produces his own one man shows with his most recent, I, Malvolio, taking him around Yorkshire to perform.