All about me - My big question: Is there such a thing as fate?

3rd October 2008 at 01:00

What's the best advice you were ever given?

When I was about to take maternity leave from my first teaching post, I was concerned about my class. I thought it would never manage without me. Mike Aston, my headteacher, told me that none of us is indispensable. That sort of advice brings you down to earth and stops you getting an inflated ego.

What one thing would change your life for the better?

More time to do a good job and still enjoy doing things such as going to watch Blackburn Rovers, walking and gardening.

What is the song of your life?

The "Perfect Day" song that was on the BBC a while back. It sums up how you should view the world.

What's the last book you read and how was it?

The Amber Spyglass, the last book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which was fantastic. I enjoyed it, it was thought-provoking how all the different storylines came together in the final book.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Keira Knightley. But I'm not sure if I would do her justice.

What's the secret about teaching that the wider world doesn't know?

That children with special needs are the most wonderful children on earth. It's a privilege to be allowed to get to know them and help them to move forward. Sometimes the steps are small, but the magic moments you get working with these wonderful young people will be with you for the rest of your life.

Where is your favourite place?

Riding on an anchor, in a large bay, on a very small, beautiful island off the Brittany coast called ile-d'Houat. We went there last year, it was hot and beautiful. The beach looked like a postcard from the Caribbean.

Where in the world would you most like to visit?

I haven't any one place. I would like to visit all the wild, beautiful places that are people-free, just to absorb the majesty of the place and feel the awe and wonder.

What do you wish you'd known when you started teaching that you know now?

How to manage children positively. I have seen what can happen if a member of staff only notices negative behaviour, and the results are disastrous. If positive behaviour is rewarded, the difference is a happy, learning child and a happy teacher.

What's the big question about life that you would most like answered?

Is there such a thing as fate? Are our lives mapped out for us?

Louise Jackson, 52, is deputy head at Red Marsh School, a school for children with severe and multiple and profound learning difficulties in Thorton-Cleveleys near Blackpool.

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