Personally speaking - I blurted out: 'Sut up and shit down'

17th June 2011 at 01:00

Who has been your biggest influence?

Mrs Elphick, my French teacher. She never wore the same outfit twice. She called boys as well as girls by their first names and she once discovered the word "constrained" in our lesson and was delighted by it, rolling it over in her mouth. She was a teacher who loved her subject and her pupils and I wanted to be like her. Especially the clothes bit.

What is your career high so far?

Setting up an educational script writing company where schools pay me to write funny, factual GCSE and A-level revision scripts. I can't believe I get paid to do something I love this much.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

Saying "Sut up and shit down" to a rowdy class on teaching practice. A teacher should never tell a class to shut up, so it served me right.

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

"All is well". It helps when I get a bit manic. It even came in handy recently when my daughter was in Japan during the earthquake and decided to stay on to help with the relief effort.

What is the most outrageous thing a colleague has done?

I encouraged a Year 8 pupil to complain about inappropriate behaviour towards her by a member of staff, only to stand by as the deputy head persuaded the girl that she had imagined the whole thing.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

When I was a teacher I used to stare into the middle distance and wait for my faculties to return. But now that I'm self-employed, I might go to the pub with my husband, go to the theatre, read a book - basically live a bit.

What car do you drive?

A little red one with a number plate that spells "beady", which helps me to remember it.

Where did you last go on holiday - and why?

I went to south Devon with my mother, sisters, brother and their families to celebrate my New York-based sister's 50th birthday.

What is the worst excuse you have ever heard?

"I know you're all busy, but data collection is vital to the progress of our students".

Kate Brennan, a former teacher from the East Riding of Yorkshire, writes commissioned drama scripts for schools based on any subject in the curriculum, with references to the specific schools and popular culture. See

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