'You ask for volunteers and there are that many hands up in the air'
Current post Newly qualified, teaching maths at Bridgewater high school, Warrington
Career to date?
I did a degree in electronic engineering at Sheffield University. After graduating in 2001, I did a PGCE in maths at Chester College.
I'm now teaching at a large 11-18 comprehensive with arts college status, which means there are opportunities to teach maths through dance and drama. The kids gain from it because it's not just "get your textbooks out". It's different.
There are three newly qualified teachers in the maths department, which means we can exchange ideas. We also have weekly meetings for NQTs; it's good to see what other people are doing in different faculties across the school.
Why did you become a teacher?
When I did the degree I spent most of my time in front of a computer. I wanted something more interactive with people that involved using my maths skills. I got on really well with the lecturers at university and they were very helpful in passing on ideas. I wanted to be someone like that, someone who'd be helpful for the students.
I feel a bit young sometimes. At one of my placements, I actually got mistaken for a sixth-former. It's embarrassing, but quite good because I know the kind of things the children are into, and what they like.
I love my subject. I just like numbers - putting them in and seeing a solution at the end of it, and it's something there's either a right or wrong answer to. I like trying out new ideas, using the whiteboards and the counting sticks rather than the textbook.
What's the best thing that's happened to you so far?
Getting my job. This is a really successful school. Everyone's friendly. My classes are responsive. They want to get involved. You ask for volunteers and there are that many hands up in the air.
And the worst?
Break duty in the cold.
What do you like most about teaching?
I like being with a class, passing on my knowledge to them, being involved with the children and helping make a difference to their lives.
What is your dream job?
I'm quite ambitious. I'd like to be head of department. If not, I'd do something with children with special needs.
Make sure you're prepared for all your lessons. I like mine planned at least two weeks in advance, then if something does come up, I can go and sort that out. And make sure you have a bit of time for yourself.
Interview by Martin Whittaker