00.01 I’m Debbie C and I’m head of Academy for Sports, Leisure and Sciences here at Cambridge Regional College. Some of my time is spent with staff doing little one to one meetings, seeing how they’re getting on and how different student groups are getting on. Some of my time involves meeting up with students to tell them how well they’re doing on their course. Some of my time I have to meet with students to tell them how not well they’re doing. So, I’m kind of the big bad ogre in terms of chasing attendance. So if their attendance drops off I’m then informed and I come and have a little chat with them and see if there’s any reason why.
00.37 I really enjoyed school. I think that’s probably some of the happiest times I had. To start with I was quite quiet and quite conscientious and as I got older I got a little bit more naughty, I think, in terms of I used to use sport as a way of getting out of sessions that I didn’t really like or enjoy. So, for instance, I wasn’t very good at maths and I didn’t really like maths, so if I needed to go and have extra hockey practice I would always try and get away with avoiding a maths session by saying I had hockey practice.
01.05 And I was a bit of a practical joker as well. I like, I’ve got a good sense of humour so if there was some trouble in class or we were winding a member of staff up, it was usually me, you know, I’d be part of that. When the decision came for me to leave school I was really, really keen at sort of 15, 16 to leave. I’d had enough of doing my O levels and I just thought, ‘I need to work’, and I’d had a summer job earning quite good money working for a local estate agent. So in my mind that was it, I was going to leave with my bunch of O levels and then go into kind of estate agency.
01.35 My parents had got a slightly different outlook on it all. So had my teachers at school. So I was talked into doing three A levels. I did get my three A levels. I did geography, biology and economics and public affairs. So I was really, really chuffed to get those. I then thought about going off to university. My PE teacher kind of said, “Oh, why don’t you think about doing sport at university. You really like sport, you’re really good at sport but also, you know, you can study academically. You’ve proved yourself that you can”. So I looked at sports studies courses and ended up going to Bedford which is now De Montfort for a three year sports studies degree.
02.16 I really enjoyed being at university and studying all the different components to the sports studies degree as it was then. We got lots of opportunities to do different coaching awards as well, and I think the light bulb moment for me about what it was I might do kind of came through those coaching qualifications, and for me, I think, then that’s when I kind of like had the “maybe I could be a teacher.” It was something that I said I’d never do all along, but that lots of other people said, “Yeah, you know what, you would make quite a good teacher.”
02.45 I think the most influential person in my life so far has been my old primary school headmistress who came as a very young head to our primary school, but then opened up lots of opportunities to us as a school to do outdoor activities for instance. So I think by age seven or eight, which is probably when I first met her she was opening a world to me that I didn’t know existed ,and she’s been a constant contact in my life through, whether it was letters when I was at university, coming to see me, asking how I was getting on, you know, Christmas cards and then actually saying, “Why don’t you come and see what I do, work shadowing.” So for me, I guess she’s been the most influential.
03.26 For me my hobbies are very, very important. My family life is really important, that keeps me kind of on a level, because at work I’ve got a great bunch of colleagues that I work with, but I think it’s really important to have down time as well, doing the things that you really love, and for me, you know, going out for a walk on a nice windy, sunny day on one of the beaches on the north Norfolk coast perhaps with my skim board or with a camera or with the kite, you know, for me that is why I work hard. You know, because I’ve got the opportunity to go and do that, and that might be with friends or family. It can sometimes be on my own but I do like to be with people.