Personally speaking - 'I wondered if brewing was really for me'

19th March 2010 at 00:00

What would you have done if you hadn't gone into teaching?

I was going to be a brewer. When I finished my degree at Cambridge I was ready to join one of the large brewing companies. But when I got near to it I had a fit of idealism and questioned if it was really what I wanted to do.

Who has been your biggest professional influence?

My father was a chemist; he was a lecturer in fuels and explosives at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst. I got into it very young.

What has been your career high so far?

Being knighted. But I have also had quite a lot of letters and emails from people I taught as long ago as 20 years saying: "I saw your name and wanted to write to you and say that you are the reason I'm now a career scientist."

Where did you last go on holiday?

I went walking in Ribblesdale in the Yorkshire Dales.

What was the last book you read?

I have just been reading Herodotus: The Histories. He wrote about the war between the Greeks and the Persians. I find ancient history absolutely fascinating.

Are you tech savvy or a luddite?

I'm reasonably tech savvy. Technology enables me to do things, but I wouldn't get new technology for the sake of it.

What is your biggest regret?

I don't think I have got any regrets. I like being where I am and feel that I have been very fortunate in my life, both personally and professionally. If I had done anything different, my life wouldn't have ended up as it has.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest?

William Shakespeare.

What is the first thing you do on a Friday evening?

Have a nap.

What website do you use the most?

My homepage is the BBC. It's superb for keeping up with what's going on in the world.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Early bird. I'm up at six.

Interview by Meabh Ritchie

Sir John Holman is director of the National Science Learning Centre, which provides professional development support networks for teachers by helping them to explore contemporary scientific ideas. He is a former secondary school chemistry teacher.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now