Retiring after teaching at Brampton school for 30 years
Last updated at 17:21, Friday, 01 June 2012
After nearly four decades at the front of the class, a Brampton teacher is leaving the profession.
Phil Furneaux has taught physics at William Howard School since 1982 and today will be his last day there.
Before that he taught for seven years in Carlisle, Manchester and South America. Mr Furneaux will be taking on a new role with a science trust.
Mr Furneaux, 59, who lives in Brampton, said the highlight of his time at the school was giving good lessons to his pupils.
“It didn’t happen often,” he joked, “but when it did it was great.”
He added: “It’s like having a good gig if you’re a musician.”
Mr Furneaux joined the school after spending time working in South America and travelling around Europe and the Middle East. This included a trip to Afghanistan shortly before the Soviet Union invaded in 1979. When he joined, William Howard School’s catchment area was Brampton and surrounding rural areas, giving it an agricultural bent.
It kept pigs, chickens and other animals, which were used in lessons about farming. Today though its students come from a far more urban area and the curriculum reflects that.
“It’s just moving with the times,” Mr Furneaux commented.
At that time the school was also split across two sites, which is not the case today. Mr Furneaux added that one of his other proud achievements has been setting up an exchange with a school near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania 25 years ago.
“You have got to experience a different culture to complete an education really,” he said.
Other changes include an increase in the amount of teachers’ paperwork, and that parents are more likely to believe a pupil’s version of events than was the case in the past.
“There are much greater expectations on teachers,” he said. “I think that’s not a bad thing as long as teachers are given the chance to be able to do what they should be doing and that’s teaching, not masses of paperwork.”
He will now take up a new role promoting physics with the Ogden Trust, a charitable organisation, based at Lancaster University. But he is keen to point out he is not retiring.
“I’ve no intention of stopping working,” he said.
Mr Furneaux plans to spend more time on his hobbies, saxophone playing and gardening.
First published at 14:10, Friday, 01 June 2012
Published by http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk
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