Day in the life - Sean Conway

26th September 2008 at 01:00
ICT teacher at William Beaumont Community High School in Warrington, Cheshire

It's Monday morning registration, and there's banter flying round. I'm a huge Wigan fan, and they lost at the weekend. Most children in my form support Liverpool or Manchester United, so they're giving me stick. It's part of the bonding. For me, form time is the best bit of the day. There are one or two pupils here that I've made a real difference to, just by spending time with them and treating them with respect.

When I was at school, I didn't have anyone like that. I turned into a bit of a bad lad and left with just two O-levels. I ended up driving a taxi around Wigan for 10 years, which I didn't really enjoy. But I didn't go down the pub every night - I stayed in and played computer games. Eventually, I got into programming and taught myself all about computers, which is how I ended up becoming an ICT teacher.

Today's a pretty full teaching day, with a voluntary class after school. But I don't mind that. ICT teachers are on to a winner, because children love computers. There's a statistic that 78 per cent of young people play computer games, but only 14 per cent of teachers do. So the fact that I'm into games means we have some common ground, and you can use that as a way into other areas of computing.

Low point of the day - and the week - is lunch duty. We have a small canteen, so different years eat at different times. Today it's a struggle to keep the Year 11s quiet so they don't disturb people who are still in lessons. I'm happy when it's over.

But even lunch duty's not so bad. I just remind myself how lucky I am to be doing something I love. Before I landed this job I'd been for interviews at eight other schools and was starting to get depressed. But it couldn't have worked out better, because this place suits me down to the ground. When I was a taxi driver I spent every day wishing I was somewhere else. Now I never feel like that - it's as if I've found the perfect job.

Sean Conway, 40, was talking to Steven Hastings.

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