Personally speaking - 'As a head, I can relate to Atticus Finch'

2nd July 2010 at 01:00

Who has been your biggest influence?

The late Cyril Jones, my English teacher, and Gareth Jones, my Welsh teacher at Amman Valley School. Even though I was a PE boy, they taught me that life had to be balanced.

What is your career high so far?

Leading Brynaman CP School to a full house of grade ones in last year's inspection. This was a true reward for fantastic pupils, staff, governors and parents.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

In 2001, a Year 1 pupil was run over one summer's evening and subsequently died. This was a horrific time for her family, the school and the local community. I read a passage from the Bible in a service held in the garden of her home. I often think of her and that year group, who will be doing their GCSEs next summer.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

My father told me: "The strongest tree bends". I always remember this when I deal with staff.

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

Sunbathing in a long jump pit during an athletics lesson with a "Marbella" sign embedded in the end of the pit.

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

A long time ago I played first-class rugby for Neath. I would like to think that if I had chosen a different career path I would be playing or coaching professional rugby.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

Normally run my own children here, there and everywhere, followed by a Chinese meal and a glass of red wine.

What car do you drive?

A Ford Kuga with four-wheel drive. It really helps when the snow hits Brynaman and the Black Mountains.

What was the last book you read?

To Kill a Mockingbird, once again. Sometimes, as the headteacher of the school that I went to as a child, I can relate to the trials and tribulations of Atticus Finch.

What is the worst excuse you have ever heard?

When I taught PE in Port Talbot, a pupil brought a note, which read: "Please excuse my son from swimming because his swimming trunks are still wet."

Nick Jones is headteacher of Brynaman County Primary School in Carmarthenshire and for the past year has been on secondment with school inspectors Estyn.

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