I qualified as a Secondary Teacher of English in 1998 after receiving a 2.1 BA Hons degree in English from the University of Oxford. I have taught in co-ed and single sex schools and have had experience with pupils of all different abilities. I have three children ranging in age from 7 – 13 years old, one of whom has historically been a dedicatedly unenthusiastic reader (till he discovered Alastair Maclean), one of whom quite likes reading (but would really rather jump on the trampoline) and one who is still too small to know either way!
After an 8-year gap, spent changing nappies and wiping chocolate smudges off the walls at home, I returned to teaching in 2015 and was shocked to discover how much the reading habits of secondary school pupils had changed during a period of increasing tech influence. I believe this break from the world of education means I am uniquely placed to see the drastic changes that have come about in the last 10 years.
Rather like a mother or father who doesn’t realise how much their own child has grown because they see them everyday, teachers who have been in constant contact with young people are not always aware of how much things have shifted. On returning to school I could immediately see a huge, and worrying, difference in attitudes to reading amongst teenagers and also a knock-on effect on their comprehension skills and other vital aspects of their educational development.
I passionately care about giving young people the opportunity to learn vital life skills through reading great literature.