SCHOOL COLUMN: James Calvert Spence College, Amble

James Calvert Spence College building in Acklington Road, Amble.
James Calvert Spence College building in Acklington Road, Amble.

The JCSC reporting team of Katie-Lisa, Curtis Armstrong and Kai Brown interview head of sixth form, Sue Bell.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

A: I did not know that I wanted to be a teacher until I was 21 having graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in geography.

It was my mum at this point who suggested teaching and after some serious consideration I agreed that it was something I really wanted to do.

I therefore began my Post Graduate Certificate in Education, studying both geography and PE as my second teaching subject.

It is sometimes very difficult to know whether you have made the right decision until you can try something first-hand.

On starting my first teaching placement I realised just how much I loved being in the classroom and enjoyed working with younger people.

Q: How long have you been teaching and how many schools have you worked in?

A: Twenty-four years and counting. I worked in four schools before being offered the position of head of sixth form at JCSC.

I have been here more than six years.

Q: What is your favourite age group?

A: My favourite age group to teach and work with are the sixth-form students so I consider myself very lucky to be responsible for this cohort of young people.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I love seeing young people achieve academic success and watching them develop into mature young adults, taking their first major steps and making decisions about their futures.

It is incredibly rewarding and satisfying.

Q: What about you as a person? Friday night in or out?

A: I prefer relaxing at home in front of the television on a Friday evening, having a nice meal and sharing a bottle of wine.

Q: Ideal holiday destination?

A: Without hesitation – it would have to be Bali. I just love the country, the people and the pace of life.

Q: An ideal Saturday?

A: I love to go for a long walk on the beach with my dog and always reward myself with the treat of a nice hot coffee in a lovely little café to finish.

That is not to say that my second choice would not be a shopping spree in Newcastle with friends.