A RETIRING headteacher said it is watching the ‘brilliant’ children at her school grow in confidence and skills that has kept her working there for three decades.
Sharon Bates left East Acton Primary School in East Acton Lane yesterday (Thursday).
The 59-year-old, who joined the school 29 years ago, said: “The children here are brilliant. They’re such lovely kids. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. And this school has a nice ethos, there’s always been a family feel to it.”
Mrs Bates has been a teacher since 1975, starting in Northfields Primary, which no longer exists and moving on to Havelock Primary in Southall before joining her final school. She said teaching is all she ever wanted to do.
She said: “Education isn’t only about reading, writing and maths. They are important, but it’s also about making children confident and ready to go on to the next stage in their lives. Seeing children learn and make progress, that’s what makes you want to keep doing the job."
Ms Bates, of Hanwell, said the main changes over the years have been what and how subjects have been taught, particularly after the national curriculum was introduced in 1989.
She said: “There have been many changes but teachers are good at adapting and they learned not to throw the baby out with the bath water.”
The main highlight of her career has been the opening of a new school hall, which staff named after her, and two new classrooms last November.
Mrs Bates said: “The old one was a horrible 1950s construction. I had been trying to get a new one ever since I arrived here.”
The mother of two grown-up children said she was going to use her retirement to travel and spend more time with her parents and husband, Roy.
She said: “I’m going to miss the school community, it’s been a huge part of my life. We’ve just had our Ofsted report and I’m pleased to be leaving the school with a good Ofsted.”