Scots teachers still loving work
THEY have been there longer than any student, several pre-date computers, but they are united by a collective passion for their chosen career.
Meet five Scots PGC College teachers whose combined experience at the Warwick school exceeds a century.
Michael Keevers, Pete Pickering, Russel Forbes, Liz Bowen and Noela Ensbey have been teaching at the Oxenham Street campus for a combined total of 130 years.
When quizzed about their continuity they expressed a common love of the classroom and the professional reward of watching young people reach their potential.
Head of Humanities Michael Keevers sums up their role as mentors to both students and younger colleagues succinctly.
“It is the variety of human relationships that comes with teaching that brings the sunshine to our jobs,” Mr Keevers said.
“We might teach subjects, but we deal with the whole person.
“And the greatest reward for me personally is watching students achieve their potential.”
For Noela Ensbey, who arrived at the college in 1985, assisting her colleagues as well as students in mastering computers remains one of the highlights of a distinguished career.
The current Head of Mathematics admits when she arrived there was very little in the way of computers or computer knowledge at the school.
“I ran classes for teachers as well as students,” she said.
That role of mentor has been something the respected local teacher has carried through the years.
“I think older, experienced teachers play a pivotal role supporting and guiding younger teachers,” Mrs Ensbey said.
English teacher Liz Bowen has been a familiar figure at the school for 21 years.
For her it is the little things that bring teaching's greatest reward.
“It can be something as simple as a child telling me they've read their first book ever,” she explained. Or it might be them saying it was the best book they've read.
“Knowing in some small way you have changed the way they look at English.”
Others like Pete Pickering stay long enough to teach the children of children they've taught, notching up 35 years of classroom service.
Like his colleagues he relishes the part he has played in the education evolution of families.
While four of the long-serving teachers will stay on for 2011, the school's current Head of Manual Arts Russel Forbes is handing in his classroom keys. The 26-year Scots veteran will spend the next two years working with his wife Janet as field officers for Mount Isa's School of the Air.
“I am going to miss the place, but I'll be back,” Mr Forbes said.