Rathmore Grammar School
Subject: Business Studies.
Your place of birth: Belfast.
Studied at: Queen's University Belfast.
First job: Labourer.
What it taught me: The job taught me that manual work is hard. It gave me a greater respect for the work my father did as a plumber. Teamwork in any job is important and giving 100 per cent to whatever career path you decide can be very rewarding.
Best advice anyone ever gave you: My wife tells everyone in the house: “Be kind to people, treat people as you would like to be treated.”
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Be honest with your pupils.
Be on time. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You're not expected to know everything.
Be accepting of others’ points of view.
Always reflect on your own practice.
Listen to and act on constructive criticism.
I'm Mark Higgins, teacher, aged 47. I'm married with four fantastic children. I grew up in Downpatrick Co Down, the eldest of four children. I attended St Colmcille's Primary School and, later, St Patrick's Grammar School. Having gained a Degree in Economics from Queen's Belfast in 1995 at the age of 21, I decided to take a few years out from education to get some life experiences before enrolling in my planned PGCE. I worked on building sites as a labourer, the Simon Community as a Finance Assistant and had a brief stint as the Marketing Manager of a local firm before entering my teaching practice in Huddersfield, England. I learned so much in that short year, teaching everything from History, Economics, Business Studies and PSE to a few Home Economics classes!
I've been teaching since 1998 and joined Rathmore as a full time teacher in 1999.
Currently Head of Department, I love classroom teaching and try to constantly innovate and update my pedagogy. I firmly believe pupils will thrive in an engaging and vibrant environment and I always aim to provide variety and rigour in their learning. Outside of the classroom I really enjoy swimming, cycling and running (all slowly).