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‘Ordinary magic’: the delight and impact of teaching

How long have you been doing this job and what first sparked your interest in this area?

I have been teaching for 21 years but this is my first year in Australia, having taught in the UK, UAE and Qatar.

My interest was sparked by realising that teaching science combines my greatest passions, learning/teaching science and helping the next generation. I wasn’t 100 per cent convinced when I started my post-graduate teacher training but having Nelson Mandela visit my practice school in Holland Park (Central London) not long after his release from prison in South Africa made me realise how important schools and teachers were and what an amazing impact they can have on society.

What do you like most about your job?

The everyday interactions are like ‘ordinary magic’. I learn something new every day and enjoy most of my daily interactions. Kids are never boring. Having had the opportunity to travel the world as I work is a great perk too.

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What was the most unexpected thing you have had to do in your job?

Reserve VIP seats during a school play.

What is the worst thing you have had to do?

Give bad news of any sort, it’s never easy.

How transferable are your skills?

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Very. Teaching requires adaptability – it means a teacher can wear so many hats.

What advice do you have for people wanting to get into this career?

Go for it. The start can be tricky but if you hang in there and find the right environment for you, you’ll love it.

What personal skills do they need?

Flexibility, empathy, resilience and perseverance.

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