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#RSMFridayFastFive – Mrs Gower

Why did you choose a career working with children?
I had a part time job working in a library when I was around the age of 16 and one afternoon a week, there was a session for children to come to the library to take part in reading activities, such as storytelling. I really enjoyed the fact that no afternoon was ever the same and it was great fun. When I completed my degree, I decided then to do a PGCE and the rest is history!

Your favourite subjects at school?
I really enjoyed Maths and French. I absolutely loved P.E., particularly netball and rounders, and I have quite a competitive streak! I also enjoyed playing netball as an adult up until a few years ago.

Why Upper School?
I actually like working with children in Key Stages 1 and 2 and I have enjoyed teaching in both. The younger children do say the funniest and most unpredictable things. They also laugh at my bad jokes. Older children can be just as funny and have a real thirst for learning. They are more likely to groan at my jokes. I really like the way that the children in Upper School question things if they don’t understand them and justify how they feel about different subjects or topics.

Most memorable moment in your teaching career?
My favourite memories are when children get that ‘Eureka’ moment, when they understand something for the first time. It makes me very happy to see that look of excitement on their faces when that happens. I have also enjoyed going on residential trips with children because you get to see another side of both children and teachers then and how they respond to physical challenges. When working at a school in London, I started the first girls’ football team, which was great fun. I have been lucky to work in a variety of fantastic schools, including one in the Middle East where I learnt a lot about the Arabic culture and I was teaching children for whom English was not their first language. The children absolutely loved me reading to them, especially Road Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’ and ‘The Twits’. They particularly enjoyed the different voices I had for different characters. The children I taught tried hard to teach me too and I still remember some of the phrases they taught me; ‘Mafi mushkila’ (translated as ‘No problem’), or ‘Mafi fulus’ (‘No money’)! What is scary is that those children are now nearly 30!

My favourite quote:
We all have challenging times in our lives and this quote from Nelson Mandela is one of my favourites; ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’

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