Please explain how your career has developed since graduating.
After graduating in 1983, I did a PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Sussex, and qualified as a teacher in 1984. I worked in primary schools in East Sussex, and became a Headteacher in 1997. I have also completed an MA in Education.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role or your greatest career achievement so far?
Making a difference in the lives of children, especially those in challenging circumstances.
What steps did you take in finding employment (in particular did you use the UEA careers centre, job websites, networking events)?
I used the Times Educational Supplement, and contacts made in local schools.
What are the key skills you learnt at UEA?
Hard work, prioritising, getting on with people form different backgrounds.
How have these skills or your course made a difference in your career?
I have to juggle many different tasks and be resilient to deal with criticism. I mix with all sorts of people, from children to staff and parents, and need to find ways of relating to them all. I also use my language skills occasionally to talk to parents.
If you use languages in your job, how do you use them and what do you use them for?
I use languages sometimes to communicate with parents who do not speak much English. We teach French at school so I sometimes join in with lessons and help to select resources.
What is the professional and personal value you place on being able to speak a language other than English?
Professional: to communicate with parents, to understand our MFL curriculum and to understand the needs of pupils who arrive with little or no English. Personal:to communicate with the local people when I travel, to keep in touch with friends abroad.
Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates?
Seize all the opportunities you are offered.