What fierce competition did to me

The Quirky Teacher

I was one of very few non-Catholics at my convent school. Somehow, a place had come up and I passed the interview which meant I spent the next 7 years trying to blag my way through mass! What went down well at the interview was the fact that I told them I loved reading and maths, had taught myself music and was a self-identified perfectionist – I was let into a rare world of high expectations both academic and behavioural in a very, very disadvantaged inner city area and competition was a key part of that world.

My entire year group was streamed and I was in the top form. The forms were given names of EU countries and even though we weren’t supposed to know the form rankings, we all knew where each class was in the academic hierarchy (partly because the classes were in order down the form…

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