Teacher Spotlight Series – Mrs. Anna Mercer – Teacher of Maths, HoY 7 & Head of KS2/3 Transition

Welcome to this week’s installment of the ‘Teacher Spotlight Series”, where we meet Downsend teachers who are dedicated to providing every child with the most innovative and inspiring learning experience. In this edition, we are meeting Mrs. Mercer, who is the Senior School Teacher of Maths, HoY 7 & Head of KS2/3Transition.

Do you remember your first day at Downsend? Can you tell us how was it?

It was over 15 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday as I was so excited to start, I was in the junior school and was welcomed by lots of people: children, parents and colleagues! There was no ‘easing in gently’ either – you certainly hit the ground sprinting at Downsend!

What did you do before you joined Downsend?

I worked in a London law firm before I became a teacher, enjoying a few years in the city. I then had a family and decided to retrain as a teacher so went to University for 3 years – juggling a young family and full time study set me up very well for the multi-tasking skills required in teaching.

What’s your best memory from school?

I shouldn’t really declare this but my best memories of my own schooling are all the social aspects of being in a large secondary school (I am a very social creature!) and the fun I used to have with my friends. We lived for break and lunchtimes and couldn’t wait for the end of day bell to ring. I had a 45 minute bus commute to and from school so we had lots of fun together before and after school too. The ice cream van parked outside school was a godsend in the summer – we always bought ourselves a treat before getting on the bus to come home!

If you could grow up in any decade, which would you choose and why?

I struggle to decide as when I watch films depicting different decades I always think that I would have loved to have experienced life at that time, but then reflect and think back to my teens and, I have to say that I wouldn’t change a thing – the 80s were awesome and psychedelic colours, dodgy hairstyles, music evolving from the 70s were just brilliant; we also had no social media pressures, life was very free!

What’s your all the time favourite movie and why?

There are so many but for nostalgia’s sake I think I would have to go for Grease as it was one of my first trips to the cinema with friends and I just loved the music and thought the lifestyle was so cool.
If you could pass on one piece of wisdom to your students, what would you share? Just be yourself, be strong in establishing your own identity and be confident in who you are; you all have so much to offer.

Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?

From one of my all-time favourite books teaching us how to refrain from being judgemental of others and just to be kind: “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

A fun fact we might not know about you?

I hated Maths at school, my skills were definitely in English which culminated in me winning the English prize before I left. It wasn’t until I went to university to train to be a teacher that I decided to ‘get over my issues with Maths’ by specialising in Maths and Computing. I love Maths now, which is just as well as I teach it to lots of pupils!



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