Paris Interviews her English Teacher

I’ve chosen to interview my English teacher Mrs Topper at Whangarei Girls’ High School. English is my favourite subject because there is always something to learn, and gives me some of the best skills I will need for my future.


Mrs Topper chose teaching as a career ‘later in life’! After finishing her degree in English, she drifted into the corporate world and worked in various different industries, ranging from frozen seafood to insurance and finance. She was lucky enough to have time as a stay-at-home mum, and when her children were old enough for her to go back to work, she knew that she didn’t want to return to the monotony of office work. Mrs Topper had thought about doing her post-grad teaching diploma before and decided to go for it.

She realised that making money for somebody wasn’t enough to motivate her each day. The only thing that she really enjoyed in her old working life was mentoring and training younger staff. Being able to do that everyday, combined with her love of English seemed like a great idea! Mrs Topper found being a teacher is a fulfilling and worthwhile job. Each day, she felt like I am doing something to help somebody and to make a difference in someone’s life. She said each day is different, you never know quite what to expect.

She said it’s really important that young people continue to read, and she’s passionate about promoting reading in young adults. Mrs Topper loves that English is such a personal subject; every student brings something different to the texts that are studied, and how she gets to discuss so many different topics from the most deep and meaningful to the seemingly trivial.

Mrs Topper says it’s a people-orientated subject which helps teachers get to know their students. She loves the fact that literature and film helps us make sense of our own world and gives us a window into other people’s worlds, and that studying English teaches students critical thinking, analytical skills and insight. It teaches us how to express ourselves creatively, clearly and coherently in both speech and writing.

More about Whangarei Girls’ High School…