YP Letters: Looking back on teacher’s life over the decades

Retired teacher Anne Young offers a fresh perspective on education.

Retired teacher Anne Young offers a fresh perspective on education.

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From: Anne Young, Kenwood Court, Sheffield.

AS a retired teacher with more than 30 years experience (from the late 50s to the early 90s, my father was also a teacher from the 30s to the late 60s), I read with interest all the correspondence regarding teaching these days, the long hours and the low pay. These are my memories from those days:

Exercise books piled on the dining room window sill waiting to be marked – all carried home from school – no car!

Being forced to sit quietly most evenings in the only room in the house that was heated, as my father would bark “I have my marking to do!”

No extra pay for the hours spent doing that marking.

My father having to teach three nights a week in an evening school, to make (what I thought as a child was “hen’s meat”). I only realised when I was older what this actually meant (making ends meet).

The pay was low and hours that teachers needed to put in (outside of school hours) were long with marking and lesson preparation. When I started teaching in 1958, the pay was roughly £32 per month, and women were then getting small increments to bring up their salary to the level of the salaries of men. Maybe teachers today could reflect on how far their salaries have risen.

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