Russell Crowley joined the Teach First programme in the North West in 2007 and undertook the challenge of completing a work-based teacher training programme in an inner city school (Manchester Academy) which is part of the United Learning Trust group of Academies. The motto for all ULT Academies is ‘The Best in Everyone‘. In order to be true to that motto the school has high expectations of both students and their teachers, wanting students to:
- Attain the highest standards in learning
- Achieve the best attendance, behaviour and personal development
- Take on responsibilities to become outstanding citizens
Russell worked within this environment, supporting the students to achieve ‘the best’ and was highly valued as an effective and inspiring teacher of English at the school.
The Teach First programme asks highly qualified graduates to ‘teach first’ before going on to other careers, and Russell completed that two year programme in July 2009. He contacted Linda Varley and asked if she required any help in projects that she might be involved in. The answer was: ‘Yes, please’.
Russell joined the Normandy Veteran website project as a research assistant for The University of Manchester with the dual role of completing written profiles for inclusion on the website and of designing and setting up the website itself. This was undertaken from a position of no knowledge, but a willingness to have a go.
The resultant website is Russell’s conception.