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Name Graham Taylor

Age 29

Current post Newly qualified, teaching design technology at De Aston school in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

When I left school it was a toss up between teaching or becoming a golfer.

The opportunity was there to pursue golf, so I took it. I'd played golf since I was 10 and took part in various school championships. That led me to the route of wanting to turn professional and pursue it as a career.

I joined the Professional Golfers' Association's training scheme, a three-year course which involved a variety of studies. From there, I worked at Market Rasen golf club from 1992 to 1997 as assistant professional. But I reached a point where I realised I wasn't going to make it as a player. I decided it wasn't what I was looking for; I wanted something to push me further.

I got a place at Nottingham Trent University studying design technology for four years, which included a year of industrial experience. I could have gone on to gain qualified teacher status, but I was offered what seemed a very exciting opportunity at another local golf club, so I decided to take that.

With hindsight it wasn't the best decision and it didn't turn out the way they said it would. So I called in at De Aston school - where I was once a pupil - to see a couple of my old teachers. And they told me about the graduate teacher programme, which I enrolled on last year.

My time as a teacher has, so far, been very positive. I've taken some GCSE classes, some A-level classes, and I'm doing a bit of key stage 3 work. I like the fact that every lesson there's something different. There's a different topic, different people to deal with, different problems and solutions. But I'm always helping pupils - and that is rewarding. You can see when the kids really enjoy something.

It's interesting teaching at my old school. When I was a golf pro I taught some adult education classes here, and that was bizarre - I was teaching my former teachers.

But the sport has proved to be a real asset in the job. In games lessons students have the chance to play golf for the first time, and some of them have taken it up after school. It's given me a lot of credibility as a teacher - if you have an ability to do something, people respect that.

I don't regret the path I've chosen. If I hadn't had a go at golf, I would have always been wishing I'd tried it. As things have worked out, I incorporate golf in games lessons and school teams. I've got the best of both worlds.

Interview by Martin Whittaker

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