It’s like having a personal assistant that understands the educational context

Kate Kellaway on Transforming Teaching with TeacherMatic

You can watch the full version of this interview by clicking here: Watch Full Version.

We’re excited to share a conversation between Martine Ellis, who is interviewing on behalf of TeacherMatic, and Kate Kellaway, a keen TeacherMatic user. Kate is a performing arts lecturer, curriculum lead, and advanced practitioner at The Guernsey Institute (formerly the Guernsey College of Further Education).

In this interview, Kate reveals how TeacherMatic serves as her assistant and thinking partner, helping to generate ideas, save time, and boost her productivity.

You can watch Kate in action in the video and see her sharing her screen or listen to the audio-only version of the interview. Below, we’ve summarised the key points for those who prefer to read about the impact of Teachermatic on Kate’s teaching.
Studio portrait of a bald woman with a neutral expression, wearing a black shirt and a silver necklace against a white background.
Martine Ellis
Close-up portrait of a middle-aged Caucasian woman with long blonde hair, gazing directly at the camera against a blurred metal backdrop.
Kate Kellaway

Please introduce yourself; share a little about your journey into teaching, what you teach now, and where.

Kate begins by explaining her professional background and her path into teaching: “My name is Kate Kellaway. Originally, I trained as an actor and performer. I spent three years as an actor, where I enjoyed leading workshops, especially while touring with Shakespeare plays. During these workshops in local schools, I discovered my passion for teaching.” She continues, “A quiet period in acting led me back to Guernsey, where I initially took a temporary role to fill a gap in the new Performing Arts course at Guernsey College. Fast forward, and that temporary role turned into a 16-year career. Today, I am the curriculum lead in Performing Arts at the Guernsey Institute, formerly the Guernsey College of Further Education. We are Guernsey’s only vocational college.”

Please share some real examples of how you regularly use TeacherMatic.

Kate detailed how she integrates TeacherMatic into her teaching practice, using the example of preparing her students for a musical performance. She often starts by using the Learning Activities generator to explore a wide range of activities, more than she needs, which allows her to select the most effective ones later. “This approach ensures I always have a rich pool of ideas to enhance our rehearsals and performances,” Kate explains.

During the demonstration, she entered the current project, “Rehearsing a musical for performance,” into TeacherMatic. The generator swiftly provided a variety of engaging and practical activities, such as script analysis, vocal warm-ups, and character development workshops. These activities deepen students’ understanding of the musical, enrich their performance skills, and provide a holistic view of theatre production. 

Kate highlighted how TeacherMatic’s quick response time and relevant activity suggestions significantly streamline her lesson planning. “It’s like having a personal assistant that understands the educational context of performing arts,” she remarked. TeacherMatic also helps differentiate tasks according to students’ educational levels, adapting activities for advanced learners and those needing more straightforward tasks.

Kate demonstrated how TeacherMatic could generate classroom questions that provoke thoughtful discussion and deeper analysis among students. For example, after watching a professional musical production, she could quickly generate discussion questions encouraging students to think critically about character motivations, thematic elements, and production design.

Kate demonstrated using the Rubric Generator to break down aspects of part of an existing rubric. She then used the Chat with TeacherMatic AI generator to simplify some rubric language and make it easier for students to understand.

Finally, Kate highlighted the potential of the Ask an Expert generator and shared how to create flash cards for the Laban Theory of Movement using the Flash Card generator.

Kate’s top tips:

  • If you don’t know where to start, try the Learning Activities generator to spark some ideas.
  • Ask each generator to give you more than you need.
  • Remember, you can adjust levels of complexity and your prompt, then regenerate for different responses.
  • Indicate your favourite generators by clicking on the heart; they will be the first ones you see.
  • Remember that TeacherMatic generates a starting point for you – always review the output. 

How did you learn about TeacherMatic?

Kate explains, “I’d been hearing a lot about AI. My husband, who is quite tech-savvy, spoke a lot about its potential, which piqued my interest. I started experimenting with ChatGPT, curious about how AI could assist in teaching, though I didn’t fully grasp its potential impact at first.”

Her formal introduction to TeacherMatic came through her role at the college as an advanced practitioner. She explains, “As an advanced practitioner, I mentor other staff members, and it was during this time that our senior leaders, after attending an AoC conference, provided us with a trial link to TeacherMatic. They encouraged us to explore its capabilities. I tried it, played around, and was amazed by how much it could transform not just a day, but potentially an entire academic year. It started from there.”

How might you help a colleague who is slightly suspicious about AI to try TeacherMatic? What would you show them first?

Kate understands that some educators may feel apprehensive about integrating AI tools like TeacherMatic into their teaching. She uses a hands-on approach to address these concerns to demonstrate its value. “There is some suspicion around AI, especially with fears about it taking over jobs,” Kate explains. Her strategy involves sitting down with colleagues and showing them how TeacherMatic functions in real settings.

She often starts by introducing the Learning Activities generator. “It’s a gentle way in,” says Kate. It doesn’t do your job for you; it simply offers support. You still need to think and be the expert.” By inputting prompts into the system, she shows how TeacherMatic enhances their teaching without overtaking their professional roles.

Kate suggests first using TeacherMatic to see what it can do to help make your job easier. “Explore, play, and see what it can do before using it in your practice,” she advises. This process helps educators see the practical benefits, like time-saving and supportive features, which can alleviate their initial fears.

Finally, Kate encourages colleagues to recognise TeacherMatic as an assistant, which enhances their capabilities. “It’s not scary anymore once you see it as a helper when you need a boost or a new idea, especially on challenging days,” she concludes.