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Personally speaking

'I'm a big kid; I love roller coasters'

'I'm a big kid; I love roller coasters'

Who has been your biggest influence?

My wife Sally is assistant head at a local secondary school and, through an informal chat with a teacher at William Ransom back in 1999, found out they had a job going. I'm still there.

What has been your career high so far?

Winning the award for Teacher of the Year and receiving it on stage at the London Palladium. Seeing a team I coached win a national title in 2006 comes a close second.

What is your worst field-trip experience?

It rained so hard where we were staying in Wales, the river burst its banks. I had to stop pupils from seeing the sheep floating upside down in the fields. Look left, everyone!

What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?

The simple phrase "Thank you for that" can defuse a situation instantly.

What is the most outrageous thing you have seen a teacher do?

Remove the curtains from the dining room at the hotel we were staying at on a school trip, and use them in a video. They made a lovely cape.

Are you tech savvy or a luddite?

Tech savvy - I love gadgets. Although like most men, I never read the instruction booklets so probably never really use them to their full potential.

What car do you drive?

A bright red Seat. My wife thinks I am having a mid-life crisis and my colleagues think I look like Postman Pat.

Where did you last go on holiday, and why?

Florida. We go every other year. I am a big kid; I love roller coasters.

What would you be if you weren't a teacher?

A paramedic. Although working with an all-female staff, I could easily be a gynaecologist or shoe salesman.

What was the last book you read?

Probably Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

What is the worst excuse you've ever heard?

Pupils know there's no point making excuses to me. But my wife had a letter asking for a girl to be excused from PE because she had an "injunction up her bottom". Painful.

Steve Mills teaches at William Ransom Primary School in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and was named Primary Teacher of the Year in the 2009 Teaching Awards.

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