Friday, 24 January 2014

Thinking of my dad.

Today, I am thinking of my dad, who passed away a year ago, today

...two days after Toby was born.

How he would have loved the cheeky little chap!!

My dad was a great sportsman during in his schooldays

at King Edward VI Grammar School, Totnes.

He was also a long life supporter of Arsenal Football Club;

no doubt he is looking down and feeling very pleased with

 their progress this season! But should Arsene Wenger

falter, my dad will most definitely be scribbling a letter to him...

and putting him right! 

It wouldn't be the first time that he's penned a letter to Arsenal Football Club! ;-)

And, in his later years he was the secretary of 

The Old Totnesians.

My dad loved history and, at times, he did live in the past!

He must have had wonderful schooldays

at Totnes because he was forever talking about those days, 

when he was alive. He looked back on his schooldays with such fondness

and delight.

My mum and dad were married for 63 years..

quite a feat! 

Here he is with Meggy.

Anyway, dad, I am thinking of you. With love.


Thursday, 23 January 2014


Darling year old, yesterday!

Monday, 20 January 2014


This is a subject about which I feel it's going on both of my blogs, today! ;-)

Is it April 1st? I am beginning to wonder.

Every now and again you come across some drivel...and this is an example! :-)

Here's another person (regardless of his many qualifications, in my opinion he is very wrong) who believes that teachers do not need qualifications.
No wonder education is in a mess!

I trained to be a teacher from 1971 to 1974.

For my training, which was exceedingly thorough, I had to study the Principles of Education; Psychology; Sociology and Philosophy. I had to study a main subject ,which in my case was History.
I had to attend all lectures or seminars connected with teaching all other subjects in a primary school classroom. I had to undertake three Teaching Practices. ( In my case, these were in three schools in Hertfordshire.) We were observed and assessed, frequently. When we were not on Teaching Practice, we were given plenty of other opportunities to visit schools to observe good teaching and focus on various topics. We also spent a lengthy period studying children's literacy, something in which I have always been particularly interested.

At the end of the three years, we sat the dreaded exams. If we were successful we were awarded our Certificate in Education, which meant that we were now equipped to enter the teaching profession.
I know that I had excellent training at a superb 'Teachers' Training College' or 'College of Education' as it was also called (of which there were many, similar to mine; wonderful places which turned out so many top class teachers.)
I was very well prepared to start my teaching career.
But it didn't stop there.
My first year in teaching, ( in a school in Surrey) was probationary. I was observed and assessed by an HMI and my headmaster; I was still training during my first year of teaching.

I certainly did not waste or lose 3 years by undertaking very intense training! My belief is that
teachers today do not have enough training.  In one year, you cannot learn all that you need to know about child development; why children behave as they do; how children learn; conditions which affect child development; classroom management; educational theory and philosophy...not forgetting the practice of education.... the list is endless.

And here is an educated man trying to justify why people do not need to be qualified to teach!
He has to be joking!

Yes, you can learn 'on the job' and that is what I have been doing, ever since I started out on my journey to be a teacher. In fact, the journey is never ending. I am always learning and I am always trying to improve what I do, even though I am now a very experienced teacher.

But you need that firm foundation on which to build and that 'firm foundation' was my 3 years of

I don't think that the education of our children, in this country, is taken seriously enough. And I firmly believe that we need to train our teachers properly and thoroughly and give them the respect that they
deserve. No child should be taught be an unqualified person and it's about time that we kicked this idea well and truly into touch.