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Personally speaking - 'I'd be an opera singer if I was not a teacher'

Who has been your biggest influence?

My professional coach, Nick Zienau, for his clarity and humility. I meet him about once a month - usually over a glass of wine - and talk through any issues I might be having in my professional life and how I can deal with them.

What is your career high so far?

Hearing the children telling people, "My school is outstanding," and knowing it is true. I wasn't someone who always knew I wanted to be a teacher - I was exploring a couple of options at the time - but the impact you can have as a headteacher is unbelievable.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

Standing on a table as a Year 1 teacher trying to regain control of my pupils.

Which pupil are you most proud of?

So many - every child who takes a risk and achieves more than they thought they could.

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

Life is good; let it go; be happy now.

What was the most outrageous thing a colleague has done?

Take her socks off in class and pour water through them to prove they were not waterproof.

What would you be if you hadn't become a teacher?

An opera singer.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

Decompress with my lovely partner over a glass of wine or two.

What car do you drive?

VW Golf.

Where did you last go on holiday - and why?

Athens, to be inspired by the ancients - and just avoided the riots.

What was the last book you read?

The Gruffalo in assembly - my favourite.

Are you tech-savvy or a Luddite?

Savvy but the right side of geeky.

What is the worst excuse you've ever heard?

"These children can't do that."

Liz Robinson became headteacher of Surrey Square Junior School in south-east London at the age of 29 and has just been shortlisted for the 2010 Teaching Awards.

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