My mantra: Just who's the adult here?

4th July 2008 at 01:00
Chris Higgins, 40, is a history teacher and deputy director of e-learning at Invicta Grammar School for girls in Maidstone, Kent
Chris Higgins, 40, is a history teacher and deputy director of e-learning at Invicta Grammar School for girls in Maidstone, Kent

What is the best advice you have been given?

My mum, who was a teacher, told me when you're teaching a hard class you must keep saying to yourself: "Who's the adult here?" Her advice has helped me keep calm and put all sorts of tense pastoral issues into perspective.

What's your proudest achievement?

Helping to organise a Tudor Day, an enterprise day at Leeds Castle where our Year 9s delivered workshops with titles such as "quills and thrills" and "strictly Tudor come dancing" to 3,000 primary pupils across Kent.

What one thing would change your life for the better?

More time to plan new resources.

What is the song of your life?

My family would say "Little Yellow Spider" (the theme from an Orange mobile phone advert) by Devendra Banhart, but it's almost impossible to pin it down to one song.

Who do you most admire?

I love teaching and learning about the Tudors and so it would have to be Elizabeth I. She was such a strong charismatic figure in an age dominated by men.

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

Forgotten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur. Fantastic book. It has really enriched my teaching of this topic.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I'm often told I look a bit like Hugh Grant, so he would then be the obvious choice.

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

It's a vocation that can take over your life. If you are not prepared for this, then you should consider a career change.

Where's your favourite place?

Florence, Italy. I lived there for many years and would love to return.

Apart from the job, what are the important things in your life?

Spending time with family, cooking and studying - I'd love to do a PhD one day.

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

How much change there would be as a result of the constant stream of strategies and initiatives.

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

Be honest, what were you thinking of when you created wasps?

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