Mary-Elizabeth Houghton
Mary-Elizabeth Houghton
Teacher of English and Classics, Bedales

BA(Hons), Greek and Roman Studies with Archaeology, Exeter
PGCE English, Bath University

What makes a good teacher at Bedales? 

Love of the subject and a desire to relate this to and enthuse those you are teaching as well as real commitment to the community of which we are all a part.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in your pupils?

An independent desire to enjoy all sorts of literature not only on an academic level but a personal one. I also hope to contribute to their wider knowledge, interests and values for their lives to come.

Apart from your teaching role, what else do you get involved with at the school?

Although I have not always been a full time member of staff I have always enjoyed being involved with trips, both day and residential. They are a valuable addition to classroom teaching: broadening experience and learning through enjoyment. This is an enrichment which Bedales is particularly well suited to. I also oversee the guiding programme which is a vital part of the school’s self-promotion and one, as it is undertaken by the sixth form students themselves, which truly reflects the motto of the school: ‘Work of Each for Weal of All’.

In your opinion, what makes Bedales special?

Everything. There is a unique relationship between the staff and students which is, rightly, based on mutual respect. There is a far greater sense of caring for everyone’s success and happiness. It constantly strives to achieve more by offering more and often better: the English BAC is a prime example. There is a liberty of thought which nurtures true thinking and the freedom to deliver choice and enthusiasm not merely a curriculum.

What is your best memory of Bedales?

On a personal note: the successful application to be students by my own children.
As a teacher: an annual delight in the successes of my students, especially those who have travelled the furthest in their achievements.

Who or what inspires you?

Literature, art, family and being a teacher and a mother.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

My army number: WOCDT471870. Also, I worked in magazine publishing for several years before deciding to retrain as a teacher.

Mary-Elizabeth Houghton
Mary-Elizabeth Houghton
Mary-Elizabeth Houghton
Mary-Elizabeth Houghton