#bbcInterview with @_missiebee

-          First tell us about yourself.

 

I’m a year 5/6 teacher teaching in Oxfordshire. I’ve lived here for 2 years - I previously taught in Reading for 4 years. I love all things music (pretending I can sing, dance, play the piano) and particularly love musicals: my favourites are Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Half a Sixpence... okay, I can’t pick one

I live with my fiancé and our 2 cats, Moose and Milo!

(That felt very self-indulgent)

-          It’s meant to be. Can we remove “pretending”?

No we cannot ;)

-          1. Why teaching? What would you be if you weren't a teacher?

I worked as a gymnastics coach for about 8 years. Even though my mum was a primary school teacher (she retired last year after 40 years!), she never swayed me towards it - I didn’t actually decide until the very last minute when doing my UCAS applications.

If I didn’t teach, I would absolutely love to be involved in the West End, whether that be with lighting, music, makeup, or on stage - although that would involve a triple threat of talents, which I only have in my dreams

-          2. What advice would you give for newcomers to twitter?

1. Make your role/interests/responsibilities at school clear in your bio - people are less likely to engage otherwise.

2. Engage as much as possible - reply to people, get involved in threads, find hashtags that suit your interests (eg the weekly #PrimaryRocks chat!). You may not get “heard” straight away - that’s normal, and isn’t a bad thing. It takes time to build a presence, but that can only be done by consistently engaging.

3. Some people think it’s important to build up your followers quickly. It’s not. Don’t fall for follow/follow-backs - some people use them to build their own following, and then they unfollow people they’ve just followed. Only follow people who you want to see crop up on your TL (timeline). Curate it wisely - I prefer mine not to be an echo chamber, but some people prefer to only follow those with similar views, which is also fine. It’s much more important to build relationships with people - and if you’re lucky, friendships! - than increase your following. People will notice if you’re doing something for the wrong reason.

 

-          3. What are your passions?

I’m not sure I’ve ever described something as my “passion”! But then I’m not very OTT about anything. I do love anything music related. If I shuffle my playlist, it’s rather eclectic - it’ll go from Howells’ Requiem (I used to be in a choir), to Stormzy, to the Hamilton soundtrack, to Funeral for a Friend, to Fleetwood Mac... let’s just say that car journeys are never enjoyable for anybody else in the car with me! I also LOVE words, grammar, and anything language-related (I’m aware this makes me sound like the LIFE of the party).

-          I’m sure you dazzle at soirées, correcting people’s grammar and reciting poetry.

I’m usually just hiding behind a gin and tonic (lime, never lemon)

-          I thought you meant in the classroom, then!

-          4. What has been your favourite lesson ever?

Not sure about favourite lesson ever, but certainly one of my most successful and memorable. Predictably, it’s also one that I least expected anyone to enjoy - including me!

It was with a “bottom set” y6 maths class, and I was introducing them to long division (cue the many groans and moans). This lesson was of many, starting by teaching them the first step: listing multiples of the divisor. I showed them how to partitioning the 2-digit number to make it easier. The lesson took about 5 minutes to plan - but my goodness did they lap it up. They even asked to stay at lunchtime to continue?! I was baffled, but when I look back on it, it took the most basic teaching principles: break something into small steps, model a step with explicit instructions, do some together, let them go alone. Proof that just pure learning in itself is “engagement” and lessons definitely don’t have to be all bells and whistles!

*This lesson was THE FIRST of many

- 5. Who should play you in the film of your life?

For likeness alone, Michelle Dockery (so I’m told).

-          I can see that.

-          6. What is the best/worst teaching advice you’ve heard?

Best - relationships are the most important part of teaching.

Worst - split your class into 5, find 5 sets of differentiated books each linked to the group’s ability, sit with them once a week to ask a few fluff questions whilst the others pretend to read or do a crossword. Cycle round each day.

-          Ah, the lovely “Carousel” of doom.

-          7. If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?

A dictionary. Then I’d know ALL the words. Plus people would always refer to me and always think that I’m right.

-          Wow. Definitely fun at parties.

-          8. What's your most controversial opinion?

Coffee tastes like soil. Everything tastes better with coriander. “Wow” or “hook” lessons are most often a waste of time and energy.

Clearly I can’t understand superlatives, sorry...

-          Not the best Dictionary.

-          There will be repercussions to your first point.

-          9. Which 4 living people would you invite to dinner?

Stevie Nicks, so she can serenade me.

Candice Brathwaite because she seems like an absolute HOOT and I adore her fashion sense.

Jo Payne (@MrsPTeach) because I feel we’d bond over musicals and gin.

Jane (@MissC_1717) because she seems the loveliest person ever and it’s about time we swapped the voice notes for a real life chat!

-          10. What would you like to be remembered for?

Being kind.

-          Finally, who would you nominate for an interview?

@MissNewton91

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