Jul 24 2015

On retiring

Category: Generalfootlight @ 09:17

It was inevitable, really, that something would be said about the fact that I am retiring. I have spent most of the last forty-three years at the ‘chalk face’ even when it turned into a ‘whiteboard face’ and then into an ‘interactive whiteboard face’. I have taught pupils between the ages of 5 and fifteen and pretty much every subject on the primary curriculum. Some I have felt comfortable with and others decidedly not; never mention year six geography … ever!

I began my career with ILEA – Inner London Education Authority – at a time when that was all there was in the capital. As a ‘rookie’ (NQT – Newly Qualified Teacher) I was put into a staff pool and assigned a school. I was very lucky – I was living in South London at the time and Battersea was not hard to get to. The school also had the advantage of being in the middle of a rejuvenation project, which meant that many of the houses had been knocked down ready to be rebuilt, leaving few families and, consequently, very small classes. My first year three class in an Inner London school, way back in 1973, consisted of sixteen pupils. Not many new teachers working in the State Sector could have boasted that then and certainly can’t now.

After a year I moved back home, as my flat mate married, leaving me driving across London from north to south. This went reasonably well for a year but, when I started to realise I couldn’t remember great chunks of the journey, I called time

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