Thursday, July 12, 2007

goodbye mr chips

Staff gathered together at the end of the afternoon yesterday to bid farewell to a much-loved and highly-revered Dave Watson, Deputy Head Teacher, after some 32 years at our school. A brilliant teacher and someone who was genuinely interested in and concerned about people (rather than numbers or statistics). I can recall a long conversation I had some time ago with a very difficult Year 11 pupil, who spoke with huge respect and in complete awe of this larger-than-life teacher. I’m just finishing my second year at the school and can certainly recall feeling somewhat overawed by Dave in the first few days in my new career (afterall, he’d been in education all his life and I was a complete novice)…. but he was just great – asking me how things were going; encouraging me; making me laugh – and, very soon, I realised he was a very special man. You could have asked anyone in the staffroom yesterday and they would ALL have said similar things about him (young and not-so-young alike). Dave spoke a few words at the end of the afternoon (when he wasn’t being interrupted by well-wishers!) and he made us feel very proud to be working in education (even new “boys” like me!). He’s going to be greatly missed in school by staff and pupils alike and those of us who have worked with him feel very privileged to have done so.

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