SPOTLIGHT – MICHELLE FINNIGAN
The spotlight shines on our enthusiastic, rugby-loving Key Stage 1 Teacher, Michelle Finnigan.
Michelle’s father was a soldier in the Welsh Regiment, so she grew up moving around frequently. However, she was lucky enough to live in many interesting places, from Germany to Hong Kong and her passion for travel began early on in life. When she was 3 years old, she contracted Meningitis and as a result, she is hard of hearing in both ears, but this has never held her back. Michelle went to school a stone’s-throw from Warminster, as a boarder at Bruton. She completed her degree in Psychology in Cardiff before moving to Germany to work for 1st Battalion Military Intelligence JHQ, in Monchengladbach, Germany, whilst deciding what to do with her degree. She decided on the path of Educational Psychologist and went on to do her PGCE in Swansea. Michelle applied for teaching jobs overseas as she loves travelling and secured her first teaching job at an IAPS school in Kuwait, teaching Year 1. Michelle loves teaching so much that she has never returned to her original plan…
How long have you worked at Warminster?
Since September 2006 – nearly 13 years!
What’s the best thing about your role?
The children. They always know how to make me smile and the staff are also amazing. I look forward to coming into work each day. I also adore the fact that my days are never the same. It’s important when you are a Gemini.
Describe a typical day?
What’s a typical day? No two days are the same but generally they begin with a cup of tea and time with my children Jed aged 7, and Lana aged 2, before coming into school by 8am. Once here anything could happen and it’s a flurry of teaching, meetings and a brief cup of tea at break. After the School day has ended it is back home for story time and bedtime with Jed and Lana before finishing any work needed for the next day. Once done, I usually settle down to a cup of Chocolate Ovaltine and a book or an episode of something good. Then it’s time for bed before starting all over again.
What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?
The team. Everyone works so well together and the support for each other is fantastic. It’s not like that everywhere I’ve worked!
Have you found teaching in any way challenging due to your hearing?
Yes, there have been challenges. But I have always found both staff and pupils to be accommodating. Although, I’m an excellent lip reader and in the top 5% of the country for it! Recently, I have had surgery to implant electrodes into my cochlear and a magnet has been attached to my skull. On May 23rd we have what’s called ‘switch on’ where they then allow the external magnet to attach and this is when the magic happens and it processes sounds directly to my cochlear. The implant centre actually couldn’t believe I am a teacher as I am deafer than I realised! I am incredibly excited about the prospect of hearing simple things such as birds and bees buzzing and so switch on at the end of the month will be an exciting time.
What would surprise us about you?
I lived in the Middle East prior to working at Warminster. Whilst there, I played Rugby and Netball for Kuwait, competing in the Dubai rugby 7s twice and the Abu Dhabi netball Championships. I was honoured to be asked to run out with the New Zealand team whilst there too.
What other Warminster role would you like to try for a day and why?
I would love to work in catering for the day. I always think it’s amazing they can cater for so many people and their different needs several times a day.
As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an Egyptologist or a journalist.
What did your school reports say about you?
Quiet and reserved. It wouldn’t say that now!
You accompanied the ski trip and it looked great fun. What are the benefits?
Pupils benefit from having to be organised away from home. It encourages them to be really independent and it's also an amazing opportunity to shine in a non-academic environment.
Your note/advice to teenage self?
Don’t care too much about what other people think of you. People who matter will like you for being you.
Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?
“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” Maya Angelou.
Hidden ambitions still to achieve?
I want to write and publish a children’s book. I have started one, but time has a way of running away. Maybe one day children will read my book in their classrooms.
A favourite possession you would save from a fire?
My scrapbooks of our family life. They contain all sorts of precious quotes, memories, photos and souvenirs.
Bad manners. I grew up hearing ‘good manners cost nothing’ all the time from my mum and it’s so true.
Jon Bon Jovi or Pink. Weird combination I know!
Cake! I love eating it as much as I love baking it.
MasterChef signature dish?
I make a good spaghetti carbonara and my homemade pizzas are the most requested dish in my house. If it’s for the staff room, my cupcakes always go down well.
Favourite TV programme?
Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds.
Last book you read?
The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Last movie watched?
Batman – the Michael Keaton version.
Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?
I’d love Charlize Theron to play me.
Champagne! Failing that, a cup of tea is always welcomed.
Favorite place/city in the world and why?
Egypt. It’s such an assault on the senses and the history is phenomenal.
Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter – I love chatting with new people.
You are an active Warminster Twitter user, we could see you enjoyed this week’s Prep Rugby masterclass for instance?
I love how the School has embraced Twitter. I personally love it as it gives me an opportunity to interact with people I would not normally interact with. For example, I’ve had some great conversations with some of the Welsh Rugby team – which is my passion! I really enjoyed the recent girls Rugby Masterclass; not least because it gave me an opportunity to meet Bath Rugby’s Faletau and Aled Brew!
For Rugby, educational and baking Tweets @Mrs_Finns