Those unforgettable days in education

17th November 2000 at 00:00
BRUCE DOUGLAS, principal of Branston Community College, Lincoln "I began my career studying for a PhD in philosophy, but I didn't finish it. After a year I realised I didn't want to spend my life at university. I liked the environment, but students didn't need teachers in the same sense at a university. As a teacher, I wouldn't have had such an obvious and immediate impact.

I'd always wanted to be a teacher from the earliest I can remember. My father was a headteacher.

I started in Leeds as an English teacher and I went from a secondary modern to teaching at Leeds Grammar school, from one end of the spectrum to the other.

In one interview I was faced with 11 or 12 people in a long row, all representing various things. They just went through asking me one question at a time. It seemed very inhuman.

That was a long time ago and maybe that doesn't happen s much nowadays.

Today I give this advice if anybody asks me: at job interviews you can never tell what their precise situation is. You don't know whether they're looking to recruit a Rottweiler or a diplomat. So you should be yourself, be 100 per cent yourself at an interview. That's the advice I give. Go for it. Otherwise you're lying to yourself. You don't want to go somewhere you're not right for.

At the same time, there's no such thing as too much preparation. So my advice is prepare, prepare, prepare.

I used to think of every question I could and put them all in a hat, take them out and answer them so that I knew all the angles.

I've still got something of the philosopher ingrained in me. And I do like people with a philosophy. As an interviewer I like to see people who have values and who know why they have them."

Martin Whittaker

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today