Take five minutes to have a chat with DR ASH LENTON, Research Fellow with the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology.
If you had to sum up your role in 50 words, what would they be?
You should never stop asking questions...
My job is to help the students open their eyes to new things – new and different ideas that they have never known before and to ask questions about the world they live in. You should never stop asking questions, which means never stop learning yourself.
What makes a good teacher?
A good teacher has to love their subject. We are teaching students to love new subjects – or we should be. Good teaching is also about personal contact time in small groups face-to-face. I try to do this in the context of research. Our knowledge is increasing all the time, so we have to stay up-to-date.
Who inspires you?
Storytellers! Anyone who can tell a good story can inspire their audience. Good stories have events, consequences, morals and occasionally facts. Inspiration comes from all these things.
What is the best excuse you’ve ever received?
I’m a soft touch for “my pet ate my homework”. My cats are always stepping on my keyboard’s delete button, so I empathise.
What is the best lesson you have learnt from a student?
Never stop thinking. They will always catch you out.
What is the best lesson you have learnt from a teacher?
Once you think you know everything, the world changes and you find out you don’t.
What is the weirdest/funniest classroom or teaching experience you have had?
Running away from a two-metre brown snake at Cooma Cottage while explaining the finer points of colonial architecture to a class. Australia is a crazy place.
Ash is a historical archaeologist. His main research areas include ethnic identities and how historical communities made their lives in their own cultural environments.
He teaches about Romans, Britons, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Picts, Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors and the British Empire.