Teaching is a bit like planting an arboretum. You have a pretty good idea how it is going to turn out – you nurture the saplings, you encourage them to put down firm roots, you get them established in the soil – but you know you are not going to see its fruition. It is the ultimate statement of confidence in the future.
After a short career in the British Army keeping the massed forces of the Warsaw Pact at bay, then a longer one as a Fleet Street journalist, in 2015 I traded in my reporter’s notebook and press card for a stack of exercise books and a union card. I became a late (very late) entrant to teaching, and now front maths classes at a comprehensive academy in Chelmsford, Essex.