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Getting to grips with Native talent

Sally Potter, 54, teaches English language and literature at Cornwall college and enjoys writing poetry and short stories in her spare time.

She teaches A-levels and GCSEs three days a week at the college's St Austell campus.

Formerly a secondary teacher based in Walthamstow, north-east London, Ms Potter and her husband decided to move to Cornwall in 1979.

After the move she began to teach part-time as the working pattern fitted in well with caring for her three children.

"I enjoy the job," she says. "And I love Thomas Hardy. Actually, I'm teaching one of his books just now.

"To start with, the students didn't like the first chapters of The Return of the Native. They told me it was boring.

"I told them, 'Believe me, you are going to love this book by the end.'

And, of course, they did.

"I think I have an enthusiasm that I can bring to them.

"I don't ever really envisage retiring - I just feel very lucky that I've got a little niche here that suits me.

"And perhaps one day I'll manage to get myself properly published," she says.

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