Paul studied French language and literature at degree level before completing his postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). He is currently the head of languages at his school.
Current role: head of languages and advanced skills teacher (AST)
Degree subject: French language and literature
Route into teaching: postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)
What first attracted you into teaching?
Coming from a family of teachers I suppose it was in my blood, but I didn't always want to become a teacher. I really did want to be a Blue Peter presenter. But having spent a year of my degree as a foreign language assistant in a secondary school in France, and having thoroughly enjoyed it, I decided to do my PGCE. I wanted to make a difference and pass on my enthusiasm for languages and learning to my students.
What route did you take into teaching?
I studied a degree in French language and literature at Liverpool University before doing my PGCE at Leeds University.
Teaching really is the best job in the world. Having always wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter, teaching tops it for variety, fun and the chance to work with talented people – the kids!
How did you go about finding a job?
I had a desire to return to Liverpool, Leeds or Manchester to work in an inner city school, but ended up in a large comprehensive in north Yorkshire. I got my current job on my first interview and have been there ever since! I saw the advert in the Times Educational Supplement (TES), applied, and the rest is history as I have been there 20 years.
What is life like now you are a teacher?
I am currently head of languages in a large faculty of 10 specialists, three foreign language assistants and four initial teacher training students. I also work as an AST supporting the delivery of primary and secondary modern foreign languages, both regionally and nationally. In 2003-4 I was named National Teacher of The Year in a secondary school, and since then I have been very busy. I do a lot of media work promoting teaching and learning on radio, TV and in the press. I speak at national and international conferences on a wide range of educational issues, but the favourite part of my current job is being in the classroom with the kids!