There's life in the old dog yet

30th July 2004 at 01:00
As a 52-year-old teacher who left a primary school after 18 years this summer, I wanted to give Libby Purves a big hug for her words on retiring teachers (TES, July 16).

I am moving to a larger school in September - but the school I have just left was my first, so it feels like a retirement.

Undoubtedly, I have shown signs of being jaded - why else move from a school that has suited me well for so long? But my thanks go to the parents at the school who have raised their glasses to my "ripeness".

Maybe parents are "delightful amateurs", but it is a foolish head who ignores their opinions or becomes, in Alan Bennett's words, "the main enemy of culture in any school".

Traditional teachers may not have the latest theories or the boundless energy of newcomers, but they can offer the desire to "pass the parcel".

Gini Wells 6 St Loyes Terrace Exeter

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today