Personally speaking - I bring 'wackiness' to education

18th February 2011 at 00:00
Nina Jackson is head of music, learning and 'more able and talented' at Ogmore School in Bridgend, and associate educational adviser with Independent Thinking, a creative educational consultancy network. She is the author of The Little Book of Music for the Classroom

Who has been your biggest influence?

My mamgu and tadcu (grandmother and grandfather). Sadly, my mamgu is no longer with us, but my tadcu, who wrote his first book at 89, tells me that the more he reads, the less he knows. Wisdom indeed. Dr Sue Lyle, who was my mentor, rock and motivator through my MA (Ed) is also a huge influence, as is Ian Gilbert from Independent Thinking, who sees my "wackiness" in education as something to be shared.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

When I was an NQT in 1992 and could not and did not know how to manage a class of unruly pupils until the magic of music saved the day. The rest is history.

Which pupil are you most proud of?

The ones who taught me to keep every lesson exciting; those who struggle to get out of bed every day and make it into school, despite the trials of home life.

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

Learn the hard way - try things out and if they or you fail, ask yourself why. You can work it out in the end.

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

I heard a colleague tell a pupil that they were a disco dancing champion in 1976. It was a total lie, of course, but it was the talk of the school for weeks.

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

A professional musician, with no money but a happy heart.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

I love to watch trash TV, and I catch up on Sky+ programmes that I have missed all week due to school work.

What car do you drive?

A Nissan Micra. It fits into every little space.

Where did you last go on holiday - and why?

Mauritius with my partner because the brochure said it was one of the most romantic places on earth. And it was, even if the moon was upside down compared with Wales.

What is the worst excuse you have ever heard?

"Sorry Jimmy wasn't in school yesterday, but it was raining so bad it was too wet for me to walk him to the bus stop, so I thought it best we all stay inside and keep dry."

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