[These interviews, conducted by editor James Cain, are first sent to IMS subscribers. To ensure that you see these first, be sure to sign up to our weekly community updates at the top of this page!]
1. What got you into teaching?
I'd graduated from uni and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, so I started volunteering at my younger brother's Primary school, reading with children and teaching Spanish lessons. I loved it, so decided to apply to do a PGCE Primary.
2. Tell us about your first teaching position.
It was at a small CofE school called St John's in Stockport. It was my first PGCE placement in a Year 2 class. I was incredibly lucky to be placed in such a school, where I was supported and encouraged to take risks and be as creative as possible! I'll always remember showing the children a map of Europe and trying to explain that the UK and Spain are relatively close, which is why lots of people holiday there. One little boy, who looked very perturbed, said "We always go to Guernsey!".
I remember picking tissues up off the classroom floor at the end of my last day. I bet they'd forgotten about me by the following Monday - children are so fickle!
3. Who inspired you early on?
Two people; my PGCE mentor, Becky Wood, who is an incredibly inventive and hardworking teacher. Also, Sarah Zaman, a colleague for a number of years. I remember her telling me to join Twitter, as it was an amazing platform sharing and finding ideas. Initially reluctant (“is it appropriate for a teacher to have a public online profile?!”) I soon got into it and now I don't know what I ever did without it!
4. If you could share one great thing about where you work now, what would it be?
It really is a 21st century school. All pupils have access to iPads and Years 5-6 have 1:1 devices. Pupils' work is shared regularly with parents (and the global audience) via our website. We are an Apple Regional Training Centre and hold regular, free ICT courses for teachers. Finally, I don't know what I'd do without our full time tech lifesavers in the shape of Craig and Stephen!
5. What’s the best part of your job?
Making learning engaging, exciting and memorable for my pupils. I enjoyed school and I want them to enjoy it, too! I love planning an exciting topic or sequence of creative English lessons.
6. You have a penchant for costumes in the classroom - where did that come from?
Probably from my mum as she's an actress. I skipped the thespian gene, but she thinks I've found my stage in the classroom!
The Grand High Witch at Russell Scott Primary School, World Book Day 2016
7. What are the greatest challenges you face as a teacher?
This is a time of great uncertainty for teachers, with assessment without levels and a new curriculum with raised expectations for children in all year groups. Many teachers are anxious about the impending SATs,
and how our pupils will perform this year.
8. What resources do you use every week? What are your favourites?
I'm never without my iPad as I enjoy making resources using the apps Book Creator, Chatterpix, iMovie and Explain Everything. I'm a big fan of Twinkl, particularly their phonics app, which children enjoy using to apply their phonics learning.
9. Anyone you’d like to give a shout-out to?
some years ago; the award-winning EYFS department at my school (@RScottEYFS); Heather Wright, who is doing amazing things to promote reading at her school and was kind enough to share at our recent Speed Learning event; and Brian Harkins, who is an Apple Distinguished Educator and my Speed Learning partner in crime! Last but not least, our supportive headteacher, Steve Marsland.
10. Tea or coffee?