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Alison Hodrien

Teacher

I arrived at Leeds in 1997 and spent my first four years completing an MPhys in Physics. During the summers after my second and third years I got the opportunity to work in the Polymer and Complex Fluids Group doing some small scale project work, which gave me a tantalising taste of the world of research. During my fourth year I completed a project with the Polymer group, and subsequently applied to do a PhD with them. In September 2001 I begain my PhD, researching the adsorption of DNA chains onto postiviely charged microspheres. Although the research was interesting, I found that I was enjoying the day that I spent teaching in the undergraduate lab more, and I also became involved in some IoP education activities. It became clear that my future was to lie in teaching rather than research (if I was to remain happy and sane!), and I began my PGCE in the School of Education at Leeds in 2005, two weeks after my PhD viva.

I'm now in my third year of teaching at St. Mary's School Menston, just north of Leeds. The students think that I'm crazy to have spent nine years at university, but without that experience I wouldn't be the teacher that I am today. I've just taken over the role of Gifted and Talented Coordinator, and I hope that by seeing how far I have come, the students will also be motivated to aim as high as they can and achieve their goals.