What's the best bit of your job?
Traveller families are wonderful people. It's been fascinating to have an insight into their lives.
And the worst?
If a child doesn't turn up at school, it's my job to investigate where they are. I always seem to have a dozen messages on my phone.
Who's been the biggest influence on your career?
Bill McGrory, my first headteacher. Your first job is make or break, and I was lucky to have a head who always encouraged and never criticised.
How's your work-life balance?
I work in lots of different schools, so all the driving around can make life seem hectic. On the plus side, I don't have to go to parents' evenings or write reports.
Best professional training?
At my last school I got stuck with the job of RE co-ordinator, because no one wanted it. I was dreading it, until I went on a brilliant course by Helen Matter, a then local authority advisory teacher for RE. It taught me how to make RE exciting and creative by using drama and photographs. After that I put more effort into planning my RE lessons. From then on, I loved teaching it.
What's your ambition?
I'd like to move back into the mainstream and become a deputy head. Or maybe a head. Why not?
How have you changed as a teacher?
I now pay far more attention to the pastoral side of the job. I think that it's partly to do with becoming a parent myself.
Highlight of your career?
My first job was at the same school I went to as a child. Going into the staffroom for the first time was a really big moment.
What advice would you give an NQT?
Make friends with the caretaker and the secretary. They're the most important people in the school.
Most embarrassing moment?
When I took my class on a walk through the local village, I made a song and dance of the risk assessment and how ridiculous the form was, and put "stepping in dog poo" as the biggest hazard. On the walk I gathered the class round and while I had their attention stepped back into a cow pat.
Joanna Gardner, 33, was talking to Steven Hastings
1996-1998: Teacher at Minterne Junior School, Sittingbourne, Kent
1998-2002: Teacher at Ambleside Junior School, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
2003-2004: Part-time teacher at Easton Primary School, Woodbridge, and Grange Primary School, Felixstowe, both in Suffolk
2004-now: Advice liaison teacher for the Traveller Education Support Service, Suffolk.