Episode #112: Spread the Kindness Ripple through Books with Rich Simpson

Barbara BrayRethinking Learning Podcast

Rethinking Learning Podcast Episode 112 with Rich Simpson

Rich Simpson is a Year 6 teacher, Literacy Lead, from the Isle of Wight in the UK. He blogs about books and kindness and started the hashtag #kindnessripple on Twitter. 

Growing up

Growing up in Northern Ireland I was part of a single-parent family, living with my younger brother and sister, and mum. My dad left when we were young (I was 6 or 7) and we rarely saw him again after that – I had no relationship with him at all. I saw him once again when I was 13 and we went to visit him in Hong Kong. he died a couple of years later. I have since discovered that I have a half-brother called Fred from his next relationship, and we have connected – I met him for the first two years ago when he came to visit and we are in contact – he lives in the U.S.!

We were a foster family, so we had a large number of children living with us as I grew up in placements of varying lengths, and I always wanted to do something related to working with children as a job (though after I had fulfilled my ambition of being in the army as all my relatives had done!).

Moving to the UK

I left Northern Ireland to go to university in 1997 and have never gone back, staying in the UK and teaching since then (apart from a year spent traveling and working elsewhere in 2006 after my attempts to join the army went wrong!). I now live with my beautiful wife, Jade, and our two children, Isla and Finn, on the Isle of Wight, working in a small primary school as a Y6 teacher, and senior leader.

Outside of school, I blog about education and books on my website www.whatiread.co.uk and start the #kindnessripple hashtag on Twitter each Thursday, which I founded in lockdown this year after writing a blog about kindness in the classroom for Twinkl (an educational resource website).

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