Vicky Wright

27th June 2008 at 01:00
Head of PSHE and citizenship at William Beaumont Community High School in Warrington, Cheshire
Head of PSHE and citizenship at William Beaumont Community High School in Warrington, Cheshire

What's the best bit of your job?

Sex, drugs and alcohol - teaching about them. PSHE lessons are my favourite because the pupils always see the relevance and you have their undivided attention.

And the worst?

All the bits of paper in my pigeonhole. It can take the best part of an hour to sort through it.

Who's been the biggest influence on your career?

Jackie McNulty, the assistant headteacher, who is my line manager. I really admire the way she deals with pupils, it's a perfect mix of strictness and humour.

How's your work-life balance?

It comes and goes. At certain times of year I'm working late at night and all weekend. At other times, it's not too bad.

Best professional development?

I recently did a postgraduate certificate in PSHE and I enjoyed it more than my original PGCE. First time round it was about hitting standards and ticking boxes. This time, it was a more reflective and rewarding experience.

How have you changed as a teacher?

I'm much tougher mentally and no longer blame myself when things go wrong.

Highlight of your career?

Getting my new job. I start in September as head of humanities at Stretford High School in Manchester. I love my school so this was the first job I'd applied for in seven years.

What advice would you give an NQT?

Always deal with behavioural issues yourself because it has far more impact than if you pass them on to someone else. And don't let anything go.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

A rather scatty girl in my form turned up late saying: "Miss, I'm sorry I'm late, I was in such a rush, I've forgotten my tie. Please write me a note so I don't get into trouble."

She was wearing a stylish, three-quarter length coat with a belt around the middle and had clearly spent at least half an hour on her immaculate hair and make-up. I said: "I'll write you a note for your tie, but take your coat off and sort out the rest of your uniform."

As she removed her coat, the whole form started to howl with laughter. She was standing there in her knickers and tights, having forgotten to put her skirt on

Vicky Wright, 31, was talking to Steven Hastings


1999: PGCE in history, St Martin's College, Lancaster

2000: Maternity cover, Walsall

2001: History teacher, William Beaumont Community High School, Warrington

2006: Appointed head of PSHE and citizenship.

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