Personally speaking - 'A Year 10 pupil pulled out a knife'

16th April 2010 at 01:00

Who has been your biggest influence?

Recently it has been Anu Ojha, education director at the National Space Centre. He is so fired up and knowledgeable. He has shown me new areas to get interested in.

What is your career high so far?

It was probably delivering a workshop at the space educators' centre at Houston in the US. We were the only people there representing the UK and apparently we got the best review out of all the workshops. One involved teaching people to dance as molecules at different energy levels.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

In my NQT year at a school in Northampton one of the Year 10 pupils pulled out a knife. He just sat there with his knife and wouldn't say anything. I evacuated the class.

Which pupil are you most proud of?

I'm proud of so many of them on so many levels.

What was your worst field trip experience?

I take pupils to the south of France where we do kayaking down the rapids in the Ardeche. I vividly remember staying up all night with pupils who had managed to get hold of alcohol and had been drinking. I thought: "If they are going to be sick then I have to be awake for it just in case something happens!" They had to clean the toilet the next day.

What is the best advice you have been given?

My headteacher advised me to be an advanced skills teacher. I was thinking of being head of faculty, but this is a far better thing for me to do. It is a hugely rewarding job.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

Collapse in front of the telly.

What car do you drive?

A VW Golf. But I walk to work. It has got very few miles on the clock - 5,000 a year.

Where did you last go on holiday?

Walking on the north Suffolk coast. We usually stay in the UK and go away in February when nobody else is about.

What is the worst excuse you have heard?

"My printer isn't working, so even if I'd done the work I wouldn't have been able to print it out so I didn't bother."

Judith Green is a science teacher at Robert Smyth School in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and lead educator for the National Space Centre. She received the Royal Society Hauksbee Award last month in recognition of her work in science education.

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