Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
The teacher that had the most impact on me is the reason I’m happily married today and teaching.
My secondary school music teacher had huge impact on my teenage years. As an extra curricular club she ran a steel band and every child in the school spent a term during their first year at the school learning how to play the instruments. I loved it; I was fairly musical at primary school but this was a whole new thing. They were loud and incredibly fun to play! If you had a bit of a talent for playing you were allowed to join the ‘training’ groups. This was the single thing that kept me on the straight and narrow as a teenager (well, that and the fact that my mother would have thrown me out if I’d misbehaved too badly!)
I became obsessed and spent every spare hour during the week practising and every weekend playing in concerts. There didn’t seem to be a village fete in Derbyshire that we hadn’t played at over my six years in the band. We travelled all over the world during our summer trips, we were the first steel band to play in Russia! The bit that I really loved about it was that the members of the band were my friendship group. We spent so much time together that we formed a close bond that we still have today. She made all of this possible through her hard work and dedication to her job – in turn inspiring me to become a teacher myself.
My husband was also in the band and, although we took our time about it, 18 years after we met in the band we finally got together and four years later we were inviting her to our wedding.