A cup of tea with…Russ Shalofsky

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Staff blogs

For the next of our series, we go for a cup of tea with one of the School of Education team from the University of Gloucestershire. Today we have a cuppa and natter with Russ Shalofsky.

Hi, how are you? How do you like your tea?

Normal (no sugar, quite strong, not bothered about the exact amount of milk added) with cake whenever possible.

What is your role within the School of Education?

I teach Primary Science to BEds and PGCE students. I coordinate the Professional Studies module for BEd year 2s and I ‘lead’ the Assessment Only option. Oh, and I do the timetable in lots of different colours.

What does your typical day involve?

The majority of my days involve teaching, running tutor meetings, visiting students in schools or helping students with assessment tasks. Quite a few involve meetings to talk about all of the above. Most involve some other planning for all of the above. Relatively few involve me writing about how children learn or how teachers teach, but I do more reading than writing. I get in early (to nab a parking space and get some essential stuff done) but mostly I am travelling home at 5:00 (with some marking or preparation in the evening).

How long have you been working at the University of Gloucestershire and what attracted you to the role?

I have been here 11 years. I loved the environment (architectural and human) and, compared with several science teams in other Universities, I was impressed with the level of science subject knowledge and resources offered here. I also like Cheltenham a lot, although I live 30 miles away.

Russ Shalofsky University of Gloucestershire

Would you like a biscuit? Custard cream?

Yes, they are my second favourite (Fox’s Golden Crunch Creams are the pinnacle of biscuit evolution, of course)

A man after my own heart!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?

I travel (only Europe so far with Croatia being the furthest south) in my VeeDub “Brian” (as in Magic Roundabout).
I do some Amateur Dramatics. Most recently I played a 30ish Ukranian toyboy, which shows the lack of males under the age of 50 available.
Previously, I have been Bagheera, TinMan, Bob Cratchit, Adam & Jesus, and several classes of murderer (so type-cast as always).
I play Bridge. I watch Strictly and other forms of science fiction. I read a fair bit – currently Brief Answers to the Big Questions (Steven Hawking’s last book😪).

What is the best thing about working in the School of Education?

Too difficult to pick one:
Lovely team of people to work with, always supportive, innovative and positive. Keep me on my toes.
Lovely students to work with, constantly impress me with their energy, enthusiasm and fresh perspectives.
Lovely place to work – although the temperature is a little erratic, the views are inspiring

Is that the time? Let’s go for dinner. Where do you recommend we go?

Italian (I have become hopelessly addicted to calzone). Perhaps not Jamie’s as I am trying to leave my estuary background behind me. So probably somewhere small and unfranchisey – Giorgio’s in Portland Street, Manchester is a perfect example.

We’ll remember that for the next time we are up north.

Russ Shalofsky is a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education and part of the Primary Science team.