Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Teaching.


                            Résultat de recherche d'images pour "windlesham house school"
                           
In my short teaching career, I taught at just two schools. Firstly a girl's 'upper' school in Shropshire (13-18), and later a co-ed Prep' school in Sussex (6-13).

I'm not what you'd call a natural career teacher, but I did enjoy my time in the classroom. Naturally I taught Art and Art History, but also stood in for Latin when required.

Moreton Hall in Shropshire was a classic girl's school. Above all it taught young ladies how to behave correctly, whilst at the same time hoping that they'd pass enough exams in order to continue their studies at university level (which they mostly did).

Windlesham House (above) was a very different affair. It is the oldest UK Prep' School (founded in 1837), and was co-ed. Another classic school, it was always considered the No 2 Prep' School in the country after Dragon in Oxford, and was set in more than 60 acres of secluded and stunningly beautiful Sussex downland.

The pupils at Windlesham were a real pleasure to teach and to be around. There was a permanent atmosphere of calm and politeness, the children acted like young, well behaved, adults. The school is where swimmer Duncan Goodhew famously fell from a tree, resulting in his trade-mark baldness (nothing to do with me, honest).

Teaching in boarding schools is a very different matter to teaching elsewhere. There's no 9 to 5 working hours, one is on call almost permanently, including weekends; it's hard graft. Teachers in state schools don't know they're born!

I did enjoy it, but France beckoned, and I was obliged to answer the call.




16 comments:

  1. Oh that all could attend such schools. I've never thought about working where there are boarders and living at the school where you teach. Yes, hard work, I think.

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    1. Work never stopped. I didn't live at the school but I was near enough to be 'on call' at all times.

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  2. The best f British education. Are these schools still like that?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and wonderful schools they are too.

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  3. My prep school would, I expect, have fitted into one of Windlesham's classrooms (both practically and metaphorically).

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    1. I believe it's grown a wee bit since I was there, it's a lovely old Queen Anne building; perfect for a Prep' School.

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  4. My prep school was in the convent where the nuns lived. It was a great building. It was the only time at the school that we were taught almost exclusively by the nuns, including rounders, country dancing, folk singing and girls cricket. It was the most fabulous part of the school and I loved it, and so did the nuns. It now no longer exists.

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    1. My sister went to a Convent School. I think she enjoyed her time there. My sister's school no longer exists either.

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    2. The prep part of the convent was separate from the high school and reflected my best years there. It was definitely a good start in education.

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  5. I guess most parents would love their children to go to schools like that!. Had to look with a price tag around £30,000 a year, plus extras. it is out of the reach of most.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, sadly 30k is about normal these days. Luckily good behaviour and respect for one's teachers still cost nothing.

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  6. I went to a very small private girls school for two years and loved it. When we moved to another state, I had to go to a large Catholic co-ed high school and it was very hard for me to fit in and find my way. Both educational experiences had a big impact on my life and the person I am.

    I taught for nine years. It was hard work but very rewarding. Times were different then and we could never imagine the problems that the teachers of today face in the classroom.

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    1. Teaching is always hard work, but I pity those who have to try to control unruly kids at the same time; an almost impossible task.

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  7. Having had years of experience in Comprehensive School and similarly had some
    experience of prep schools and public schools, I think France beckoning would be much more attractive.

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    1. It certainly was, although I did enjoy my times teaching; especially at Windlesham.

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