Head of English
What did you do before coming to Solefield?
I used to live and work in Istanbul. In fact, for quite a few years I lived on the very edge of Europe (the view from where I lived was over the Bosphorus - the expanse of water that separates Europe from Asia). I believe Istanbul is the only city that is in two continents - but please tell me if you know of another one.
How different is Solefield to where you last taught?
Solefield is a much smaller school than the last one I taught in. I was head of an English department that had 19 English teachers. Although there are advantages and disadvantages to working in a large school, I much prefer working in a smaller one. For a start, there is a much stronger sense of community.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love going for walks and doing photo challenges with my daughter. Another favourite activity is to sit in a comfortable chair and read my newest favourite book (Speeches of Note compiled by Shaun Usher). This book was one of my best Christmas presents this year and I am planning to read Letters of Note next. I also love making acai bowls and smoothies.
Tell us something unique about you.
When I was a child, I measured lower than average on the school reading test. This continued for about a year and my parents were shocked because I loved books and had an impressive vocabulary. One of my teachers told my parents that I was unlikely to be able to go to university and that they should lower their expectations of me. Anyway, I proved them all wrong. (And it turned out that I just couldn't see well. Once I had glasses, there was no stopping me).
What inspired you to become an English teacher?
I was greatly inspired by an English teacher I had at Secondary School. He encouraged me to enter many creative writing competitions and always talked to me about the books I was reading. Once I had completed my PGCE (a teacher training course), I went back to visit him to tell him what an impact he had had on my life.
What is your favourite food and why?
Oh, that is such a difficult question to answer as I love so many different types of food. For breakfast, I love Menenem (a Turkish dish which is a type of spicy scrambled eggs with tomatoes). My favourite main meal is a roast meal with parsnips (I cook them in parmesan). And my favourite dessert is banoffee pie - so I love it when that is on the menu at school.