#bbcinterview2 with @LTeacher123
- First tell us about yourself.
Ok... I'm a southerner who married a Scouser. I'm a mum and this is definitely the most challenging thing I've done. I've been teaching for a looong time but had a five year break when I still worked in education but wasn't a class teacher. I love my job and spend a lot of my time researching education.
- 1. Why teaching? What would you be if you weren’t a teacher?
I just always wanted to be a teacher growing up. I was also really into Crown Court as a young child and for a while my dad thought I might be a barrister. My husband reckons I'd make a good politician because I can answer a question without really answering it!
There was a time when I considered leaving teaching. It was a very unhappy time in my life and I was working in a toxic environment. I quite fancied opening a cafe-by-day/bistro-by-night with a bookshop (obviously) and art galleries with workshop spaces for artists and a small performance space. It was all very pie in the sky but I quite liked it as a bohemian dream.
- Sounds ace. Glad you are still in teaching, though.
Best job in the world!
- 2. What advice would you give for newcomers to twitter?
Twitter can be brilliant - the best CPD. It can also be ridiculous. Some of the petty arguments are just so pointless and some get nasty. Decide what you want from Twitter and curate your timeline accordingly. It's good to follow a mixture of people - like minded and people who challenge your thinking. Remember that most of the time people share their very best pieces of work and they might work in a school that's in a very different socioeconomic area so don't get downhearted if you see work you can only dream of. I absolutely love Twitter and am totally addicted. I've made some amazing friends through Twitter and attended some brilliant events so could not recommend it enough!
- 3. What are your passions?
Work, work and work!! I do live and breathe my job now that my children are grown up. I love reading and am passionate about encouraging/developing a love of reading in children. I like art and music but wouldn't say I was passionate about it. Probably the only other thing I'm passionate about (other than Mr B obvs) is politics. If my 18 year old self could hear me now! I think that's probably why I've spent my teaching career in disadvantaged areas because I want to make a difference - probably sounds trite - but I so strongly feel the need to try and level the playing field. The lack of opportunities for working class children needs to be addressed. We have a government that seems hell bent on widening the gap and it makes me sick.
Bit of a rant there!
If I'd thrown in a couple of 'blummin's people might mistake me for Simon Smith!
- You do look like him, to be fair.
- 4. What has been your favourite lesson ever?
Impossible question! I'm rubbish at choosing favourites.
I think for me it's more about favourite topics rather than favourite lessons. I once did a topic about bats with a Y2 class. We did it for half a term and did all our learning (except maths around it). We went to Chester Zoo and I was very brave and only screamed a little bit when walking through the tunnel in the bat enclosure - even when one flew into my head! The children loved the topic and became experts. They wrote amazing non-chronological reports. The thing is they were one of those brilliant classes that you can do anything with. They loved learning. There was a real buzz in the air and I think that's how you know if it's been a good lesson - it's all about the relationship you have with your class. If you have a really challenging class where you're fire fighting from registration on it's hard to have great lessons because everyone is treading on eggshells and it's exhausting. Luckily, in teaching for over 20 years and moving round a fair bit I can count on one hand the number of those classes I've had.
- 5. Who should play you in the film of your life?
I don't know. Someone who doesn't take themselves very seriously. I asked Mr B and he said Michael Sheen because he's good at taking people off. Then I was chatting with a couple of work colleagues and one of them said Jim Carey as he's got loads of energy and is a bit crazy!! So now I'll have a complex that I look like a man and am not professional so thanks for that!
- Interesting choices.... any female actors?!
Elisabeth Moss?! I don't know.
This just in from my daughter on who should play me in a film - Sandra Bullock.
- 6. What is the best/worst teaching advice you’ve heard?
I think the worst advice is often meant well - like 'Don't smile until Christmas'. I understand the sentiment behind it. Essentially any advice that says you must do this or you mustn't do that is bad advice in my opinion because we're all different. You have to find what works for you. The best advice I've ever had was from a retired teacher friend. She said that this job can swallow you up and that you should always remember that as a teacher you are replaceable - as a person you are irreplaceable to your family and friends.
- 7. If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?
Easy - a book!
Because they are my favourite inanimate objects.
In a way they're not inanimate.
- 8. What's your most controversial opinion?
Maybe that standardised tests aren't necessarily a bad thing. It's what is done with the results that matters.
Don't know if that's particularly controversial. I suppose it depends who you ask.
- 9. Which 4 living people would you invite to dinner?
I think I'm supposed to name 'inspirational' people here but how intimidating would it be to have 4 people like that round for dinner?! Probably just four mates to be honest. I'd give anything to have one more dinner with my dad though. I miss him so much.
- That sounds perfect to me.
- 10. What would you like to be remembered for?
For being a nice person and true to myself.
- Finally….Who would you nominate for an interview?
Ian Hunt would be a great person to interview.