Top teaching pair bow out at Sheffield school after 37 years

Teachers Beverley Kendall and Jane Litherland retire from Firth Park College after 37 years
Teachers Beverley Kendall and Jane Litherland retire from Firth Park College after 37 years
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Two top class teachers with more than 70 years of experience between them have called time on their careers.

Firth Park Academy teachers Beverley Kendall, aged 59, and Jane Litherland, 60, have taught thousands of children during their long careers.

Teacher Jane Litherland retires from Firth Park College after37 years and is presented with an award by Principal Dean Jones

Teacher Jane Litherland retires from Firth Park College after37 years and is presented with an award by Principal Dean Jones

The pair, who have been friends since starting out in 1979, have seen five head teachers, countless uniform changes and a new school built since joining together.

Friends, family and staff came together at a special leaving ceremony with dozens of gifts and bunches of flowers to thank them for their loyal service.

The pair have been there so long they have often taught two generations of the same family.

Beverley, who taught food technology and textiles, said she would miss the ‘amazing’ children and staff.

Teacher Beverley Kendall retires from Firth Park College after37 years and is presented with an award by Principal Dean Jones

Teacher Beverley Kendall retires from Firth Park College after37 years and is presented with an award by Principal Dean Jones

Oven gloves catching fire and pupils making soup in a blender without the lid and spraying liquid around the room are among her many memories.

Maths teacher Jane, who went part-time in 2011, recalls trips to the pub on Friday lunchtimes and cigarette-smoke filled staff rooms of the 1980s.

She praised the children she has taught and said she ‘wouldn’t have done any other job’.

Beverley, of Crosspool, said: “It’s crazy to think we had blackboards and chalk. It seems so old fashioned – now we have interactive whiteboards and loads of technology in the classroom.

“Me and Jane were laughing recently as we remembered when teachers queued up to have old carbon copy sheets printed off by a man with this ancient banding machine. There were no photocopiers or anything like that.”

She added: “It didn’t seem odd back when I started but the boys did woodwork and metalwork and the girls did cooking and sewing.”

Jane, of High Green, said: “When I first started we had the cane. It seems completely ridiculous now. It’s a completely different world to what it was back then.

“I can remember the fog of the staff room where people would be sat round with cigarettes and 
pipes doing The Times crossword and having to wait for the registers to come from a taxi from the other school site.

“We used to go to the pub on a Friday lunchtime, that certainly doesn’t happen now!

“There was less pressure on teachers than nowadays, they said back then ‘here’s your class, go and teach them’.

“Maths wasn’t as respected then. But then they said you couldn’t get into college without a grade C – after that the kids took it way more seriously.”