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Susana Gonzalez

Head of Chemistry, Susana Gonzalez answers our questions.

ND diagnosis or self-identify as:

Diagnosed with ADHD.

Current job title:

Joint Head of Chemistry and SEN Teacher.

What does your job involve?

I co-run one of the biggest departments in a grammar school, with 900 students at KS3 and KS4 and circa 200 choosing Chemistry at A level.

I run Brain School and Power Planning interventions for neurodivergent students to raise awareness and support their learning.

Degree/apprenticeship or route to current job:

MEng Biochemical Engineering
University of Bath

PGCE (Chemistry)

MA SPLD (Dyslexia)

What were your challenges in school?

I was an excellent student in terms of results. Always top results. First Class Honours for my degree. However, it was all achieved by overlearning. I remember never understanding anything in lessons, being in a panic and self teach myself everything before the exams.

What strategies/assistive technology do you use to help you in your work?

I graduated in 2000 so limited tech back then!

Now I use my Apple Watch coupled with my ical and an app called Alarmed for productivity. I use the second brain strategy coupled with Evernote, to manage knowledge. I have rigorous routines and systems in olace to ensure everything I need doing gets done.

What ND skills have allowed you to succeed (or progress) in your STEM career?

Finding a field of work that falls straight within my interest and strengths. I am passionate about teaching and learning and also nowadays particularly inteested in the learning of ND students. I would say my best strength is Empathy, Compassion, Making things simple, being goal directed, ability to get students experience success, fun loving and buckets of energy.

What advice would you give someone who may have had similar experiences as you?

Take time to get to know your brain and reflect on your interests and your strengths. I only got my diagnosis at 47 after both my kids were diagnosed.

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