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Erith teacher chosen for Google academy

PUBLISHED: 18:03 17 April 2012

Google teacher Paul Greenwood with l-r:  Gwen Kirchhoff, Emmanuel Fatoba and Bethany Hodges

Google teacher Paul Greenwood with l-r: Gwen Kirchhoff, Emmanuel Fatoba and Bethany Hodges

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An Erith teacher was chosen to attend Google's Teacher Academy thanks to his innovative methods and IT classes.

Paul Greenwood, who teaches at Northwood School, Northwood Place was given the accolade after his one minute application video impressed the judging panel.

He was one of only four teachers to speak at the two day conference on April 4 and 5, at the world-famous company’s London headquarters on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Mr Greenwood said: “It’s a great achievement for both myself and the school.

He said that his class currently has 17 laptops and the school has won other awards for its technological enterprise.

The 47-year-old was one of 50 teachers chosen for the academy, including around 25 from the United Kingdom and others from the United States, Indonesia, Australia and other parts of the world.

The Year 5 teacher retrained in his current profession 11 years ago having been a prison guard at HMS Belmarsh in Thamesmead.

He said: “It sounds very corny but I decided to go into teaching because I wanted to make a difference and stop kids going down the wrong path.

“I’ve talk to so many inmates who would say that they just made one mistake and no-one believed they could make something of their lives, except for maybe one teacher who tried to support them.

“That’s why I chose primary teaching - stop kids becoming disillusioned at an early age by helping to give them a good start in life.

“There are some similarities to working in a prison but in many ways it’s a completely different environment, I rarely have to raise my voice at school!”

Mr Greenwood is now a Google Certified Teacher (GCT) and he is expected to pool his knowledge with other GCTs and other schools both nationally and internationlly.

He admitted to getting a great deal out of meeting teachers and educators from around the world.

The teacher said: “It was two days of meeting some really interesting people and I will look to use some of the methods I’ve picked up in my classroom.”

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