My Junior School Teachers

I rather went through junior schools. The first one I attended closed because as the new town of Crawley was built bigger, newer schools took over.

I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with the second one I attended but I wasn’t happy there. I never made friends and really didn’t want to attend.

So when a newer school opened, much nearer my home, I transferred to it and found that school could be an enjoyable place. Although still an infant by age, I started as a first year junior because I was deemed to be clever. Looking back I don’t know if that was the right decision but I stuck with it through the years of compulsory schooling – both at the junior and the secondary school.

When I left primary school number three I collected the autographs of the staff and of course, I still have the piece of card I collected them on even though I’d struggle to know who the teachers were.

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I’ll pick on three in particular. The first is the name at the top – D M Gravett. She was my class teacher for both my first and second years in the juniors. I rapidly decided that the D M stood for ‘Dear Miss’ Gravett.

She was a lovely, caring lady and I think I owe her a lot after my difficulty at the previous school. I won’t say I was ever a good student for I suffer dreadfully from inertia or some might say lethargy but I really craved approval from Miss Gravett and I tried hard enough to get it.

I ought to say this was a big school with three classes, streamed by ability in each year. Miss Gravett had the pleasure of the top class and when I think back to the brains there were in that group, I reckon she had a lovely time although I’m sure we generated marking and she will have felt responsibility.

Next I move down the list to N F West. Mr West was my fourth year or top junior teacher and he was another one who inspired me to want to do well. He made lessons and topics interesting. It was always a pleasure to be in his class. My year had grown in number and by this stage there were four streamed classes. Mr West had the top stream – a collection of truly high flyers (plus me).

Soon after I left so did Mr West. Unsurprisingly he obtained the headship of a school elsewhere in the county.

Arthur Worthy, the third name on the list was the head teacher at the school. He was a large and cheerful man who lived happily amongst his school children. Like Mr West, he was a wonderful communicator and when he came into a lesson you could be sure it would be fun.

Out of school he presented my brother and I with a problem – something we really struggled with and nothing to do with work.

We attended the Quaker Sunday School and that meant we had to spend fifteen minutes in quiet contemplation in the meeting house. One of the friends was Mr Worthy. Put yourself in the position of a small boy here. The old benches in the meeting house creaked and groaned. Every time Mr Worthy shifted a little on his bench, the creaking noises sounded out strongly in the silence. This was our headmaster, and inevitably giggles would start. My brother and had to do whatever we could to hide our giggling. Converting it to a coughing fit was one thing we could do. Biting on a handkerchief was another.

Oh kids! We were so unfair to Mr Worthy – who really was worthy of our thanks and admiration for running such a happy and dynamic school.

I do remember quite a few of the other names but the three above were the ones with the biggest impact on me.

 

 

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