Personally speaking - Never give up, and keep dreaming'

27th May 2011 at 01:00
Amanda Sara is deputy headteacher at Westminster Academy and literacy consultant for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. She is also the author of The Literacy Toolkit

Who has been your biggest influence?

I have been lucky to work with many incredible people. My mum is a deputy headteacher and she has always been my rock. At my previous school, Villiers High School in Southall, west London, I was fortunate to have worked with many kind, talented and wise friends who have helped me to grow as a person.

What is your career high so far?

Having my book The Literacy Toolkit published was very special for me.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

When I first started teaching, one of my pupils died in a car accident during her Easter holiday abroad. It was a very sad time for all of us. Her year group planted a sapling in remembrance of her.

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

Don't give up, it's never too late and keep dreaming. A dear friend of mine also used to say "don't find me problems, find me solutions."

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

A children's writer - maybe one day ...

What do you do on a Friday evening?

Catch up with friends and family over a glass of wine.

What car do you drive?

A blue one.

Where did you last go on holiday - and why?

I went to Lulworth Cove in Dorset. It is one of my favourite places in England and is stunningly beautiful.

What was the last book you read?

Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure. He is one of the reasons I decided to become an English teacher.

Are you tech savvy or a Luddite?

I like to think that I'm tech savvy, but after days like today when every computer I touch crashes I have to ask myself the question again.

What is the worst excuse you have ever heard?

A handwritten note saying: "Please excuse my son from doing his English homework, we had to attend a family wedding. Signed My Mum."

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