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'You can see when things click, and they know they've got it'

Name - Simon Davies. Age - 23. Current post - Newly qualified teacher at Jackfield infants' school, Stoke-on-Trent

Career to date?

After my A-levels, I wanted to go into the RAF as a pilot, but they wouldn't accept me because I had hay fever. I did a sports science degree at Staffordshire University, then my PGCE at Crewe - in early years.

Why did you become a teacher?

I started my degree without a clue about what I wanted to do. But after two weeks I went into my local primary school to help the teacher do PE with the reception class. It was my old school and the teacher I was working with used to be my teacher. That was a bit strange, but I loved it. I ended up going in every week until the end of my degree. At the same time, I also went to a range of other schools, including a special needs school and another primary. I just carried on and over the three years, I decided I really wanted to get into teaching.

What's the best thing that's happened to you so far?

When we made gingerbread men. We came back from dinner and one of the gingerbread men had gone - we'd hidden it in another teacher's classroom and pretended it had run off. So the children went on a hunt for it. The classroom assistant sprinkled flour all over the floor in the corridors. It was fabulous just to watch the children. They got no work done, but it was just so good.

And the worst?

I don't think there's been one. I know I'm really lucky with the school I'm in.

What do you like most about teaching?

Just being with the children, seeing them progress.

They do things and you can see when things click, and then the smiles on their faces because they know they've got it, and they can go away and do things on their own. We've just been doing number formation, and it's great to see their faces when they get their numbers right. That's the best part, I think - when you can see them actually learning.

What is your dream job?

To be honest, I'd just like to be a class teacher.

Top tip?

When you're doing your planning, do it so you enjoy the work too. You look forward to your day because you look forward to what you're going to teach. I bounce into school knowing that I have fun activities planned. I don't bounce home, though.

Interview by Martin Whittaker

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