"Please, be a teacher!"

Guest speaker, Emma Alexander, with Thomson Exhibition Award winner, Caitlin McIntyre.
Guest speaker, Emma Alexander, with Thomson Exhibition Award winner, Caitlin McIntyre.

“Please, please, please be a teacher!” Those were the words of Emma Alexander, former Rothesay Academy pupil, island vet, and guest speaker at the school’s academic prize-giving on Thursday evening.

Emma addressed staff, parents and pupils - many of whom are about to start college or university this month - offering what she described as some “insider tips”.

“Number one - you don’t have to have a dream," Emma said. "You absolutely don’t have to have that big dream. If you have one, whether it’s to be a vet, to be the next Michael Phelps or Dave Grohl, then you go for it. Work hard and achieve your big dream.

“If you’re sitting there panicking that it’s university application time and you really don’t know what to do, it’s fine. You find little goals, you achieve them, and you take it from there. Sometimes the best opportunities present themselves when you are looking elsewhere.

“Number two - health. Please look after your body. Our explosion in medical advancements means you’re likely to live beyond 100 years old so you need to learn to look after your body. Find fun things to do, the list is endless.

“University is tough on you, so do try to eat some vegetables - it’s really easy, they come in microwaveable bags now!

“Number three - be a teacher. Please, please, please be a teacher!

“I’m sure the staff around this room will tell you what a pleasure it’s been to teach you over the years. But seriously, you’ve already amassed an encyclopedia of knowledge and university is about to fling more knowledge at you than you’ll know what to do with. So, see all this great stuff you’ve learned? Spread it around.

“We have a teaching mantra in veterinary medicine: see one, do one, teach one.”

Emma concluded, saying: “Be proud to be a Rothesay Academy pupil, be proud of your island heritage.

“Life is best spent learning as much as you can about as much as you can.”