Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, I’m Jack! I’m a huge nerd, and that’s going to inform the rest of these answers, so brace yourself. When I’m at work, I work with existing EP customers to make sure they’re getting the most value out of the product. When I’m not at work, I’m usually playing tabletop roleplaying games – running them, participating in them, or writing new ones. I also dabble in pixel art, ever since I developed Arthritis and can no longer hold a pencil or paintbrush long enough for traditional art. I’m also a nonbinary transgender person, and use they/them or he/him pronouns, in case you want to tell all your friends about me!
Goals for the next 3 months?
In the next 3 months I’d really love to finish the mechanics of a game I’m developing; am hoping to launch a podcast with some friends (where, you guessed it, we play games); and work on my walking distances. At work, I’m focused on smaller day to day goals, like connecting more frequently with teachers. The most tangible goal at work right now would be the slightly longer term project of getting EP Rainbow Tick Certified.
What book/movie/podcast etc has been a big influence on you?
There’s a very long fantasy book series called the Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb, which is how I met my fiance. I’d say that’s probably had the biggest influence on me in a practical sense.
In a more personal sense, I have a deep connection to the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett. I was always the same age as the protagonist as each book came out, so they always spoke to me very directly.
Ideal start to your working day?
Well I usually start with an energy drink and some “breakfast biscuits”, however I’d much rather be sitting in the sun with a cup of tea. Once I get in, I clear any requests that have come in via Slack since I’ve been offline, check my emails, and make sure I know about everything on my calendar for the day. Clearing everything right at the beginning of the day means that I’m not starting with the weight of yesterday hanging over me, and I know I have space to deal with new things as they come up. I’m a little privileged in that I live in a different timezone to the schools I work with, so I get about 2 hours in my mornings before things start piling up! It’s the perfect chance to stay on top of things.
What’s one thing that surprised you when you began working at Education Perfect?
That password reset requests for students and teachers weren’t automated for our Support Team! They are now which has saved the team a lot of time and allows our users to reset their password instantly. In a more serious vein, I was astounded by how easy it was to start work at EP as an openly trans person. It’s the first workplace where I’d been open from the start, and it was such a painless experience that I could hardly believe it.
Where is somewhere you’d like to visit?
So many places; I love to travel and haven’t been to enough places yet. One place I’ve been wanting to go for a long time is the Louvre. I know it’s very hyped up and there’s big lines, but I specialised in French art during my minor in art history, so I’d love to see it in person!
Favourite EP feature and why
My favourite EP feature is probably the Peer Review tasks. I love that not only is it a great way of helping students to think critically about their writing, but the built-in anonymity also helps students to engage more thoughtfully with how they leave feedback. I think it’s a fantastic tool for teaching, especially in English and the Humanities, and if you’re one of my teachers, you know I will always sing its praises!
If you could have been present at a historical event, what would it be?
Oh boy. Back to the 19th Century with French art I think. Not one particular event, but I’d love to spend a day with Monet in his garden. Monet’s paintings of his garden are some of the most beautiful and calming pieces, and I always return to them as my favourites the more I learn about art and the more art I see. I think spending a day there would be an incredible experience not only because I would know I was seeing history, but also because it always looks so idyllic. I can picture myself finding a sunny patch in that garden and just dozing off. A bit boring, as trips to history go, but it’s very appealing.
In the words of Matt Mercer of Critical Role “Don’t forget to love each other.”