Monday 18th July
Today I have officially retired from school.
I joined on 1st May 1995, as a part-time teacher of mathematics, and soon added IT (computer science) to my timetable.
I have had an amazing twenty plus years, teaching hundreds of students: an Olympic gold medallist, team GB triathlete, gymnasts, cross country runners. Musicians, actors, singers and dancers. A veteran of Afghanistan, tank commander, boxer, RAF pilots, glider pilots, commercial airline pilots, Royal Navy helicopter engineers, Merchant Navy captains. Teachers, doctors, nurses, accountants, lawyers, paramedics. A scientist working on the Hadron Collider in Cern. Hairdressers, tattooists, nail technicians and bodybuilders. A world class barista. Photographers, healthcare assistants, veterinary workers, retail, hotels, estate agents. Many, many occupations. And of course, some students have gone on to be parents themselves, and I was teaching their children. It’s then that you feel a bit old.
I was so very fortunate to represent the school on three occasions, visiting America. The first time was with a group of teachers, travelling to Cape Canaveral, hosted by NASA, working with educators, space scientists and astronauts. Incredible.
The second trip was to Lubbock, Texas, being guests of a school district, looking at discipline and character. Fascinating.
Finally, to Huntsville, Alabama, taking a group of students to Space Camp. Outstanding.
I became a SWIFT Platinum Trainer, enabling teachers to use IT effectively.
I started up an after school Study Group, with a government grant.
Carrying out research on the student’s use of interactive whiteboards, which was then published in the Secondary National Strategy.
Introduction of a Virtual Learning Environment.
I also used video conferencing with students for a simulated Mission to Mars, linking up with the National Space Centre in Nottingham. I also video conferenced lessons to local primary schools.
One year I presented a workshop at the Regional IT Conference, and the following year, VC’d with a group of students, giving feedback to teachers at the conference.
For ten years, I took groups of students, in the summer term, to the beach, to learn to surf, as part of Activity Week.
I enjoyed teaching my subjects, watching the students succeed and getting pleasure from gaining new knowledge.
A wonderful two decades, filled with hard work, fun, opportunities and personal development.
During the last few years, due to circumstances, my time in the classroom was much reduced. And so the time was right to retire.
A wonderful speech given by the head teacher, followed by presentation of a bouquet of roses and lillies, a bottle of champagne, and a micro:bit computer, complete with worksheet, wrapped up the afternoon. Perfect.
I will miss my life as a teacher.
Thinking of you sweetheart, as always.
Love you so much.
Dearest Angel son.