Mari-Clare Mitchell

Mari-Clare Mitchell

I am a primary school teacher at Mearns Primary School in East Renfrewshire with 16 years’ experience teaching in upper and middle school. Prior to teaching, my background was in the technology and business sectors. My degree from the University of Strathclyde specialised in Manufacturing Engineering and Accountancy, and my early career took form as a buyer with Agilent Technologies. I then had an unexpected opportunity to undertake an MPhil at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, which led to a very happy and fulfilling career with Scottish innovation consultancy, Uxl. At Uxl, I worked with primary and secondary schools across Scotland, from Orkney to Castle Douglas and many more schools in between, to develop and deliver products and workshops related to innovation, enterprise and creativity in education. Since completing my PGDE (Primary) in 2007, I have taught at Mearns Primary School. I have always been keen to promote technology skills (especially to girls) in the classroom and beyond. I am a proud leader and mentor of girl coders at the school’s dressCode Code Club.

What was your first career aspiration as a child?

I always wanted to be an architect. I was accepted to study architecture at the University of Strathclyde but a last minute crisis-of-confidence led me to change to a wider-ranging technology and business degree. I still enjoy visiting new cities and appreciating all forms of architecture, and I still love reading and drawing.

Who has been a big/biggest inspiration in your life?

My late Dad was my initial inspiration to pursue a STEM-related career. He and my granny were big supporters of girls in STEM. My mum, a teacher, inspired me to make the career-switch from technology and business to teaching. She’s very caring, patient and skilled in her craft…and she’s still teaching after 40+ years!

Do you have a favourite place in the world?

My favourite place in the world is with my family in our motorhome, Monty, usually parked up in a remote part of the west or north coast of Scotland. I spent a lot of time as a child (and adult) with my family in Portpatrick on the south west coast of Scotland, so that’s a special place for me too. I’ve also been lucky enough to visit amazing cities and countries across the world. I love travelling and wish I could see more of the world. The next country on my wish-list is Japan.

What is your super power? What super power would you like to have?

Like many teachers, my super power is having eyes at the back on my head…and ears to match! I would like to have the super power of being able to travel into space, just for the day, to experience a day/night on the International Space Station. I’d like to be back on Earth for bedtime though!

What is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal has to be a cat. I have a 17 year old Siamese cat called Neko. He enjoys the simple things in life and sleeps a lot. I’d like to be more like him 🙂

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