PRESS: The Guardian interviews Mr Isoa

Mr Isoa was interviewed by The Guardian newspaper about teaching - this is what he said:

Emmanuel Isoa, 32, is a former banker who teaches mathematics at Avon Valley college, Durrington, Wiltshire.

I got a job in banking after I left university with a degree in international business. I was quite good at it, but it was always just a job. If I’m honest, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. There are teachers in my family, and my own teachers inspired me. When my daughter was born, she gave me the necessary confidence; I didn’t realise I had the required patience to teach until I became a father. 

Up until qualifying I had lots of support, and I’m still given a helping hand when I need one. My teacher training was a mix of practical and theory through the School Direct programme – from day one in the classroom, you get to put theory into practice. But now I have more responsibility, and I’m relishing it.

All schools have their own challenges – and Avon Valley is no different – but they help you grow as a teacher. They give you a clear picture of what you have in your teaching arsenal and what you need to develop. 

I motivate my students to persevere, to help them understand that, like me, we only ever get out what we put in. I was born in Nigeria and we moved to south London when I was young, and I went to some tough schools. Every day I try to get my students to realise that success will not happen overnight. Some of my Year 11s are feeling anxious. Their GCSEs are just around the corner and I’m here to coach and reassure – as well as teach. 

Teaching is very rewarding. The kids’ drive is my drive. When they reach their goals, or get to where they didn’t think they could be, or hit their targets and want to progress, or when the penny finally drops – that’s when you get the reward. It’s such a great feeling, but let me warn you: it really is addictive!

You can read the article on The Guardian's website here: