THREE teachers have been recognised for their combined service of almost 80 years to Hampshire primary schools.
Debbie Martin, 50, Michelle Marcum, 48, and Liz Baldwin 48, are all in their 26th year of service, with each teacher having dedicated 20 of those years to Wallisdean County Junior School. The teachers were presented with certificates and crystal champagne glasses by Hampshire County Council in a special assembly.
Pupil, Poppy Smith, 10, said: ‘I’m very proud of all three teachers. They are really funny and help you with your learning.’
Classmate, Alexander McGrigor, 10, added: ‘They really deserve this award as they are great teachers who are always willing to help us with our work.’
For head of school, Liz, the feeling of making a difference is still at the heart of what makes the job special.
Liz said: ‘The best thing about the job is knowing you are making a difference to the children. It’s great to know everything we do is helping to set them up with the skills they need for the rest of their lives.’
Assistant head teacher, Debbie, added: ‘Every day is different and dealing with the challenges we face is what keeps the job interesting.’
After two decades at Wallisdean the teachers have now become an integral part of the community.
Year 6 teacher, Michelle, said: ‘We have such a great team here at Wallisdean and it’s fantastic to get to know all the local families. We’ve now reached the point where we are teaching the children of pupils we taught.’
During quarter of a century in the profession the teachers have seen many changes.
Debbie said: ‘When I first started we were still using blackboards then it was whiteboards and now it’s interactive boards. There have also been enormous changes in the curriculum and increased pressures on schools.’
It’s such pressures which have led to many teachers leaving the profession early. Despite this, for all three, the job still represents a fantastic choice of career for aspiring teachers.
Liz said: ‘There’s no doubt the job has its challenges but the rewards are fantastic. Children bring things to life and allow you to see the world from a different perspective. Teaching remains one of the most rewarding jobs you can do.’