Because you had the PGCE, you could have got a job in a state school; can you talk me through the decision-making about going for jobs in boarding schools?
Yeah um I did my PGCE, I did my PGCE experience at two state schools and I did really enjoy that and also working with the underprivileged children meant that I had done about three or four years work with that kind of child or student. What I found infuriating at the schools I did my PGCE in was that I was really willing to take a football team, in particular a female football, but I spent half my time running around getting the resources, getting the backing, getting the footballs, getting some bibs and I thought I don't want to spend all my time just chasing around, getting the equipment, I want it to be there so that I can actually coach. I also found the parents of the children there really unsupportive so I mean the children were fine but the parents just didn't support what you were trying to do, so I did feel like I was banging my head against a brick wall, whereas you come into the independent sector, all the facilities are there, all the encouragement is there, my timetable is half, well its three quarters history, a quarter sport. At a state school it's obviously 100% history. So I get to do more sport which I love as much as my history so that's probably the main reason for it.
Do you think the PhD has helped you to be a better teacher than if you'd gone straight into teaching after your PGCE?
I think the main things it has given me is confidence because at the school I'm at they insist on using the title, so I am called 'Dr' and just that alone I think gives me huge confidence and it also shows the students that I do know my stuff and in terms of teaching A-level the skills I learnt, the research skills I learnt, the different websites, how to use and access websites and use, I don't know, encyclopaedias, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and stuff, I've used so much in my A-level teaching and in terms of helping them do there coursework the PhD has put me miles ahead than what I would have had with just a PGCE, yes I think it has helped significantly.