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I felt at home as soon as I went into the classroom

Name: Peter Hibberts.

Age: 23.

Current post: Year 3 teacher at Grove junior school, Stoke-on-Trent.

Career to date?

After A-levels, I did a BEd at Westminster College. I graduated last year and began teaching last September.

Why did you become a teacher?

I had aspirations to be a barrister, but decided against it. I don't think it was anything particular that put me off law - I just realised that I enjoyed working with children. I'd worked for a Christian organisation coaching kids in sports in the summer, and my A-level lecturer persuaded me to do some student tutoring - I went into a school for two weeks. I felt at home as soon as I went into the classroom.

What's the best thing that's happened to you so far?

The support. I tried to pick a school where my strengths fitted theirparticular needs and my weaknesses matched their strengths. And the school I'm in now fits thatdescription to a tee. It's a four-form-entry junior school with 16 classes and four year groups, so it's a real family of teachers. Colleagues listen to my ideas but are also ready to mentor and develop me. It's a real two-way partnership.

And the worst?

Getting to the end of the day and reflecting. The worst thing is that you look back and think: "I didn't like how I did that". Or "I wish I'd done that differently." But then there's the challenge - "What can I do tomorrow to work on that?"

What do you like most about teaching?

When you get in on Monday, you never know what's going to face you. Everything can change and no day's the same. I love the fact that you're working with children, especially in Year 3, who actually want to learn. They soak up things so quickly. That's one of the reasons I chose primary and not secondary - because I think the challenges you face at primary are much more to do with moving children's learning on than just encouraging them to learn.

What is your dream job?

At the moment, my dream job would be in the classroom where I've sorted everything, I'm happy and everything's ticking over nicely.

Top tip?

This needs to be a job in which your strengths fit the needs of the job. As well as having to solve children's problems in general, you must be able to adapt your teaching to suit a particular child's needs.

Interview Martin Whittaker

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