18/05/2007 – Featured – https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/groovy-place-to-go-the-extra-mile/208981.article.
Groovy place to go the extra mile
Name : Russell Delderfield
Age : 31
Job : Learner development academic skills adviser and researcher and emotional intelligence specialist, Bradford University.
Training/education/background : I’m a linguist. I always wanted to be a primary school teacher but was adamant I wanted to do languages first. I have taught/I teach Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages courses – I even used to teach French to Spaniards when I lived in Spain. I have been a teacher trainer on the Bradford teacher training primary foreign languages PGCE and a primary education consultant. I started training as a therapist a couple of years ago – I work with children and “damaged” adults. My research is on the impact of emotional intelligence in education. I’m also qualified in nutrition and dietetics and as an aerobics instructor.
Working hours : We need to be able to deliver academic skills support and teaching to students when they need it.
Number of students you teach : My job, in theory, could involve work with every student in the university.
Biggest challenge this year : Dealing with people who are in education but appear to dislike learners – there are so many of them – and those who say no to change without evaluating its benefit to our student/staff body.
How you solved it : You only change behaviour by tirelessly modelling how you should engage with people; I consult a great man’s work: Bruce D. Perry’s Six Core Strengths . And I’m still fully supporting the changes that will make a positive difference to our learning environment.
What your office is like : It’s groovy and multicoloured. We’ve almost got our own self-contained facilities on campus but I’m holding out for state-of-the-art facilities – it’s nothing less than we or our students deserve.
Who are the most difficult people you deal with? Here’s a different interpretation of difficult: it’s always quite sad when there’s someone with enormous potential who’s struggling with their studies because of horrific personal circumstances. That’s quite difficult to deal with. I always want to go the extra mile to help those people.
Do you interact with other parts of the university? We do a lot of cross-university interaction. I love my job and anything where I’m actively helping people makes me feel fulfilled.