9th April 2010 at 01:00

Diane Harley, a teacher at Meadowburn Primary in Bishopbriggs, was found dead alongside her husband in tragic circumstances last month. She was 47.

She entered the profession late in life, graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with a BSc (Hons) in 2005 before going on to teacher-training at Jordanhill the following year.

Diane loved to teach. She was full of energy, good humour, laughter, enthusiasm, ideas and, most of all, fun. Her classrooms were always bright and cheerful and she enthused her pupils with a sense of excitement and adventure.

She also loved football. She transformed Meadowburn's teams, setting up a training programme, entering them into tournaments and sharing her enthusiasm for the game with the children. Her coaching was fair and firm. She was delighted when the teams won and gracious in defeat - well, at least, occasionally! Her ability to organise campaigns came to the fore last year when she managed to get both kits and publicity for the school teams through Kits for Kids tokens and a generous donation of strips from one of the parents.

As a colleague, Diane was always willing to share ideas and help where needed. She had the ability to see and bring out the best in colleagues and pupils. One newly-qualified teacher told me how Diane took her under her wing on day one and continued to support and build up her confidence with advice, humour and a great enjoyment of teaching.

Over the past two weeks, the children have been making drawings and cards, and writing notes and lists of all the things that Diane meant to them.

One child made a "happy thoughts list". First on the list, the charity chicken - Diane dressed up as a yellow chicken when her class was raising funds for Oxfam. At the assembly, every child and adult in the place was helpless with laughter as she clucked her way across the hall dressed in yellow. In second place, getting soaked - at the Christmas concert last year, Diane made us all laugh again by getting soaked when an experiment with water being demonstrated by her class went very wrong. Third, fractions - how can fractions be a happy thought? Well, Diane really did make school fun for children, so even learning about fractions in maths is a good memory. And finally, having a laugh. Isn't that a wonderful list for a child to come up with about his teacher?

Through her tragic death, we have lost someone who, during her short time in the profession, exhibited the natural ability and that genuine affinity with children which makes a great teacher. We miss her greatly.

Mary Reid, headteacher, Meadowburn Primary, Bishopbriggs.

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