Inspiration for Innovation: Meet the teacher – Diane Fisher Careers Leader/Teacher of Business Studies, Kingsthorpe College, Northampton.

Hello and welcome back if you’ve been following our ‘Meet the Teacher’. Next up is Diane Fisher, Careers Leader and Teacher of Business Studies, at Kingsthorpe College in Northampton. Diane works closely with Scott Wade as an advocate of the Inspiration for Innovation programme sponsored by MEPC, Silverstone Park which is now in its second year at the college and has been a friend of Gaia Innovation’s since we met at the first Automotive 30% Club IAW Day at Silverstone in 2016.

Diane has bags full of positive energy, and it’s a good job as she is juggling a plethora of responsibilities in her role. She teaches Business Studies to years 10 through to 13 and form tutor to a year 7 group. Diane also teaches PHSE, she is the Careers Lead across the college, plus takes the lead on Young Enterprise. This along with lesson planning and assessing/marking student work means there’s never a dull (or quiet) moment!

Being busy and inspiring is what makes Diane tick, she notes “time goes so quickly I never get a chance to get bored” and “being around young people and making a difference to their lives” is what she really enjoys best about her job. She gets up early around 06.15 and gets her youngest son ready for school, then heads into college around 07:45 to make sure she is ready for her daily tutor group. She has a sweep up of emails and admin before her timetable starts at 09:00. Every day is different, and when Diane is not teaching she is working on the college careers programme, attending networking sessions and other school meetings, plus chatting to students and parents. When lessons stop at 3 pm Diane doesn’t. It’s then time for tutoring after school clubs and leading Young Enterprise activities or maybe a trip to the gym after school when she leaves around 18:00.

Diane has been inspired so much by her dad an entrepreneur who started his jewellery business from scratch. He was her idol and provided her with an excellent work ethic and morals which she has used as a bedrock in her working life. Her dad talked Diane into working for the family business following a trainee management period and management position with the British Shoe Corporation. She stayed with the family business for 15 years until sadly her dad died suddenly and the decision was taken to close the business. Diane continued with her dad’s ethos and went from strength to strength managing a telesales office and then working for a publishing company managing advertising sales. Following the birth of her son, Diane decided to become a teacher choosing Kingsthorpe College following a move to Northampton after 6 years working as a teacher in Birmingham.

Diane has been a teacher for almost 13 years now and finds the career fits well around her family life. It allows her to travel to new places, which she really enjoys, plus it gives her time to go her pilates classes and swim, plus get pampered now and again with a massage. Diane’s son Paul, daughter, Lauren and youngest son Mason are her world. She is also a proud nanny to her gorgeous granddaughter Emilia and has a second grandchild arriving in March 2020.

Having worked really hard to achieve her master’s in education, plus her level 6 Careers Leader qualification, Diane has also been absolutely humbled recently having been being put forward by her students for Most Inspirational Teacher award in the 2019 Northampton Education Awards; she cites this as her biggest achievement at work, and quote “[is] very fortunate to work with so many amazing students”. Oh, and by the way, as a school Kingsthorpe College also won the Careers award again in 2019 Northamptonshire Education Awards, with Diane also winning The Gold Award in June for her contribution to Young Enterprise.

Diane’s friend would describe her as ‘crazy’, but clearly when you mix that up with ‘thoughtful, kind, enthusiastic and committed’ it obviously works! She is inspired by many people around her who influence her in many ways so let’s finish on this answer which I thought was particularly excellent and shows how other people’s life challenges can absolutely inspire and make your day. “What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you in school?”

“At the school I worked at in Birmingham there was a teacher who had Tourette’s. I appreciate that this is a serious condition but she totally embraced it and made all of our meetings the funniest I’ve ever been to anywhere. She would just come out with whatever was on her mind and it didn’t matter who was taking the meeting. One day we had an advisor come in who was quite high up in education. She decided he looked like Captain Birds Eye and started shouting it across the room and doing impressions. She is still at the school now making everyone’s day”

One more thing. Diane hoped that her dad “would be proud of what I have achieved”, I think we can safely say that he would be. Thanks for the interview Diane, we look forward to working with you throughout the rest of the Inspiration for Innovation programme.