LAST week saw a new feature start in Education Matters in partnership with the Bradford for Teaching campaign.

It introduces you to teachers who have come through the campaign to have a positive impact in Bradford’s schools, and this week it is Tanzina Nore, who teaches at Horton Grange Primary School.

Hi Tanzina, what made you decide to be a teacher?

“Pablo Picasso said: ‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away’.

“Reading was always a hobby and the more I read, the more I learned. Life was a rollercoaster; the climb was relentless and with every drop came a lesson.

“Soon my own love of learning made me passionate about teaching, because I yearned to share every grain of experience to an audience who would benefit from my knowledge.

“Although education stretches beyond the classroom; my desire to mould and guide tomorrow’s progeny into becoming respectable individuals directed me to start from the classroom. And here is where my journey began.”

What is your proudest achievement so far?

“I am lucky enough to witness the learning journeys of my pupils daily and watch them persevere along the hurdles.

“If there is one thing, which makes my heart swell with pride, it is when the penny drops. Though I am proud, it is not because what I have accomplished.

“I feel honoured and privileged to be part of this learning experience; being able to inspire, motivate and support pupils on their way to succeeding in what they have set out to achieve.”

What is the most challenging aspect to teaching?

“Children are natural observers and they pick up on the tiniest anomaly.

“On days like this, I have to mentally step into the character of being the educator, mentor and role model, who the pupils know and look up to.

“Just an ounce of negative energy is enough to extinguish a stimulating learning atmosphere; demotivating the pupils. There is never room for an off-day.”

Who was your favourite teacher when you were at school?

“In the heart of Birmingham, at a local comprehensive where many of the teachers were ready to retire, Mr. Vora stepped in as fresh blood.

“He was truly refreshing in the classroom; with his trademark blunt and open approach and no great proclivity for jokes. With a combination for his love of teaching, a love of his subject and the strength to endure everything which came in his stride, it wasn’t long before I found myself totally engrossed during his classes.

“I loved how he explained things so succinctly, spoke without being condescending and fed back without heaping the superlatives. Little did I know that I was going to become a teacher, but when I stood in front of my class for the first time, I knew that I wanted to be like Mr. Vora.”

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into teaching?

“If you teach for money, you will soon run out of interest, but if you teach for passion, you will always find your needs fulfilled.

“Gain as much experience as you can in a school setting, and refine your skills. Your pupils will lead the learning a lot of the time, but this will only happen if you can show them that you have the skills that they are expected to demonstrate first.

“Be confident. Celebrating mistakes will enable you to use them as teaching points. Always expect the unexpected and be ready to think on your feet, because not every lesson goes to plan.

“Be prepared to join your pupils on their journey, making them aware that you are also learning with them. Finally, let your personality shine; your pupils will love you for it.”

What do you do for fun in the school holidays?

“Whether I am travelling to another part of the world to experience other food/cultures, winding down at a nearby spa, ticking off a few articles on a bucket list, becoming absorbed within a novel/obsessed with a television show, exploring a museum or just enjoying a nice brew at a local tea room; the pinnacle is, forgetting about what day it is and what time of day it is. Bliss…”

Tell us about the funniest thing that has happened to you as a teacher?

“Last year, we took Year 6 on a residential trip to Ingleborough Hall in the Yorkshire Dales.

“While I accompanied a group of children during their gorge scrambling activity, I decided to assist a pupil who found it challenging to climb a large boulder, so I decided to give her a boost with my cupped hands.

“Before I knew it, the child was hanging off the rock surface with full weight on my hands. ‘I can’t climb it Miss!’ she roared.

“In an attempt to save my unfortunate hands, I started to use the top of my head to help push the pupil up. After a fair amount of wrestling, several kicks in the head and splashes of mud on my face, my noble act had finally paid off. I could not have been be more grateful for the safety helmet!”

What qualities do you look for in a good teacher?

“While every great teacher has their own exclusive style, I have found that exceptional communication skills, alongside the ability to build strong relationships with pupils are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.

“Anybody would think that profound subject knowledge is most important for this role, since ultimately this is what the job is all about: conveying knowledge!

“But no matter how well-informed a teacher is, if they cannot deliver a lesson in a way which is not only understandable but engaging, the content itself is useless.”