Today our church organist celebrated 54 years as our organist. That’s an incredible achievement especially as he has never had a Sunday off for illness. I don’t think that there are many people who can claim that sort of record.
I have a huge sense of belonging to my parish church. I started going to Sunday school when I was 5, then graduated to the choir and have been there ever since. It has added a sense of continuity to my life. There are people who I see on a Sunday that knew me as a child and that’s fairly impressive at my age.
I have the same sense of belonging at school. I have taught at the same school for 24 years and, since Christmas, I am the longest serving teacher there. I love the fact that I have taught so many of the local children. Collecting families is great. I always feel that I have a head start with a child if I have taught an older sibling. There is a ready made connection and I know that it in at least a few cases, that connection has enabled me to help that child make progress in a way that another teacher might not have been able to do.
I never thought that when I went there on a two term temporary contract that I would still be there 24 years later. It may be a testament to my lack of ambition or laziness as it is only in the next village from where I live. However I feel that it is actually a testament to the school itself. It is a community school where a lot of parents also were pupils and it has always felt a happy place to be. It has supported me through my career and taken me to the dizzy heights of Assistant Head which is definitely out of my comfort zone.
I only have a few years left of my teaching career left but I am looking forward to spending them in my school.