60 seconds with….Cheryl Larocque

Discover how governors and PTAs help schools tick and why you should get involved in your school community.

How long have you been working in education and what’s your current role?

10 years. I’m currently a supply teacher in Key stage 1 and 2 and a governor at my children's school.

What is your career background?

I completed a teaching degree and taught at a primary school for 3 years before moving to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to help develop the optional tests and year 7 progress tests. I then had my children and took on various roles including PTA chair, class representative and coordinator, parent helper and governor.  

Which of your roles has been most rewarding or challenging?

Teaching! When a child who has found a concept difficult, demonstrates they have understood or got it – that’s why I teach – for those light bulb moments.

Why are school governors and school PTAs so important?

Governors help ensure the school is doing what it should be doing. They are accountable for checking that the correct systems and procedures are in place. They are crucial in supporting the school, staff, children and parents. PTAs are just as important. They fundraise for, special experiences for the children and bring the whole school community together. I love doing those extra things for the children and get a great deal of pleasure when they ask when the next film night or disco is going to be, because the last was so much fun!

Why should people get involved in their school community? 

I see it as a way of supporting and thanking the school staff. It enables the school to get the ‘nice to have things’ they wouldn’t typically be able to afford and it provides a good insight in to school life.

What is your vision for education?

I hope that education continues to be inclusive, allowing every child to reach their full potential. It’s about developing every child, giving them opportunities to achieve and appreciating everyone’s differences. For children to achieve this they need to enjoy learning and see themselves as successful learners.

In your role as a teacher, what was the best lesson you've ever taught? 

It was on the topic – vehicles. I drove my car on to the playground and the children explored under the bonnet and sat in the car. The looks on their faces were priceless. I hope it was lesson they will remember. 

 How do you think education will change in the future? 

Maybe there will be virtual classrooms, with no teachers, just someone on a screen! It's scary the way things have already moved forward in such a short space of time.

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get involved in their school community?

Do it! It’s so rewarding and gives a real sense of achievement. Schools need all the help and support they can get no matter how big or little.

How would your friends describe you?

I’m not sure really, maybe mad, kind, caring and always helping others!

What is a little-known fact about you?

I have just learned to sail - it’s never too late to try new things and when you have 3 children you need to be able to keep up with what they’re doing!

And finally, just for fun....

Lie in or up with the lark? 

Having a cup of tea in bed, whilst catching up on my magazine subscriptions!

City or countryside?

A lovely family walk in the countryside or through the woods.

Dine in or dine out?

As the children are getting older, its lovely to have a meal altogether and then to sit down to watch a movie, but I also like catching up with friends and trying new restaurants. 

Book or Box-set?

I couldn't get through the weekend without..
Our Sunday family roast with all the trimmings!

By Jennie Adams on 13th October 2017

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