Emma's past


Born during a postal strike, in Bolton, Lancashire. Can't remember anything from this time.


Lived in East Manchester, but can't remember anything before 1976. This might have something to do with being hit on the head by a plank. It broke my window and window-frame during a gale, shortly before my fifth birthday. It left me with a bit of a phobia of windy nights for the next twelve years. Oh, and sufficient trauma that I was put on valium.


Lived in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and attended the local church primary. Tried ballet (unsuccessfully), piano (successfully), drums (unsuccessfully), and finally learnt to sing in tune at the age of about 9. Discovered snow.


Still in Harrogate, now at Harrogate Grammar School (a comprehensive, but not noticeably). Very busy - I did everything I could except sport. At various times I belonged to orchestras, bands, choirs, chess club, bridge club, recorder groups, maths club, naturalists' society, CU, etc. Outside school there was piano and viola practice, bellringing, babysitting, pantomimes, more orchestras,...


Cambridge University, reading maths. It was a bit too hard for me, but I survived with a lot of help from my friends. Joined CUMS, the Ichthyan Singers, the Archimedeans. Gave up bellringing when I pulled muscles in both arms carrying my broken bicycle.


Switched to Education, not because I particularly wanted to teach, but because the course sounded interesting, I couldn't do the maths, and the most mathematical thing I was likely to do was teach. It was the right thing to do: I enjoyed the academic side of the course, started really enjoying maths again, and liked the practical side enough that I did become a teacher.


Full time teaching at St Ivo School, teaching across the whole 11-18 age and ability range. Great department. As I got the hang of things, gradually found a bit of spare time for other activities. Got married in 1993, and lived first in a Trinity College flat, and then bought our own house. We were just in time to get on the housing ladder in Cambridge - our first house earnt about as much as we did in the five years we were there.


I took a year out in 2000, and began to explore options other than classroom teaching. I missed the teaching, though, so I went back the next year, but now part-time. Ever since, I have been a "portfolio worker", mixing part-time jobs in and out of the classroom. I taught at Coleridge Community College, Abbey College and St Bede's Inter-Church School, and worked for NRICH, STIMULUS, the School Mathematics Project and the Open University. I've also tried exam marking (once!) and done some private tuition.

2006 onwards

All change: the arrival of Heather means that I am now first and foremost a mother, although some of the portfolio working remains. We moved out of Cambridge 5 days after Heather came out of hospital, just to ensure that absolutely nothing was the same again, although Gareth's company realised we'd missed something, and promptly announced the closure of their UK office. We resisted moving to California.