What were you like at school?
I grew up and went to school in Staffordshire, which had a three-tier system. In Primary and Middle schools, I worked really hard most of the time and, despite not enjoying school when I first started, loved most of my subjects by the end of Year 8. People used to copy answers for their maths work off me all the time! In Year 10, I had a "teenage blip" when I decided that all I wanted to do was Art, and didn't really put a lot of effort into many of my other subjects. Luckily, I still managed to get some decent GCSE results, and turned it around in sixth form.
Sixth form was fantastic, because I spent most of my time doing Maths, Physics and German - three of my favourites by the time I finished Year 11. I really struggled to pick my A Levels, but I'm happy with the choices I made now. University was my favourite, though, because I dropped German and picked up Philosophy in my second year; bizarre as it sounds, I really enjoyed going to lectures and coming out not having a clue about what we'd done!
Which of your teachers do you still admire?
My maths teacher in Year 7 still sticks in my mind - he did nothing but algebra for an entire year, and most of us could solve quadratics by the end of the winter term. He was proper old-school, and we worked in complete silence all lesson - I really enjoyed just being able to get on with my work!
My GCSE maths teacher was a big influence in deciding to become a teacher; as a class, we'd not had a lot of success with good teachers, and we'd played up something rotten for his predecessor. He had a fab dry sense of humour and really knew his subject, and encouraged me to do Maths at A Level.
Which lessons do you still remember?
Triple Science lessons at Secondary were great fun - Chemistry was a bit of a riot (my teacher once ate glue when we asked why it said "non-toxic" on the side), and our Physics teacher used to happily tell us we were all going to fail completely if we didn't sort our acts out.
About seven of us decided to pick Latin as a GCSE option, and we were taught in the smallest classroom ever (essentially a cupboard) by the most batty but fantastically intellectual teacher. She was a real stickler for old-fashioned schooling, and we got so much homework every week.
What are the main differences between the classrooms you were taught in and those you work in now?
They all have interactive whiteboards - I remember the first one appearing in one of the maths rooms while we were in sixth form, and it was a guarded treasure!