Louise Naylor

Episode 186,   Jan 17, 07:09 PM

My guest this week is Louise Naylor, who spent 34 years at the University of Kent before retiring in September 2023 as Director of Education. Louise started on a one year temporary lectureship in 1989, and we talk about the role of serendipity and opportunity and the recipe for staying the course and how one can never be prepared for everything that arises in a teaching context.

The best teaching is when the teacher is continually learning, and we discuss the performance side of education which is two-way. Louise reflects on how people often tell us when we get things wrong but not when we get things right, and how Covid meant that teachers and learners were on a level playing field.

Louise talks about the changes she has experienced since was an undergraduate in Aberdeen where she studied biochemistry in an age when it was heavily male-dominated and no one was on first name terms. She was the first in her family to go to university.

Louise went to Canada to do her PhD, and turned down Cambridge to go there. We talk about the role of fate, whether we believe in it or not, the notion of ‘simple abundance’, and we discover why Louise is a 'journey' rather than a 'destination' person.

We also talk about how learning is about challenging ourselves and about the need to try something new in her retirement.

Louise grew up in Edinburgh and these days listens to Boom Radio. She has played the violin in the university orchestra and used to play the university church organ. Music has been a major part of her life, and we learn that much of her social life was built around the church when she was growing up.

Towards the end of the interview we find out why Louise didn’t take up opportunities that came up to go elsewhere, how she feels about uncertainty and how we can deal with it, and accepting that the negative happens, the importance of listening and the role of passion and compassion, and learning about the impact one has had on people’s lives.