Catch up with Paul Eveleigh

D691C0E7FCFE4CB5A12B7801076F2EDECan it really be half a century since we did our A Levels?

By 1970 I had finished my PGCE and was about to begin teaching in a large secondary school in the Midlands. I got married to Sue, who I had first met within days of the end of A Levels. We’ve lived in Sutton Coldfield, just north of Birmingham, ever since. Our two daughters were born during the 70s and we now have two young grandchildren who live nearby.

I taught Physics up to A Level and also, over the years, various other oddments like Careers, Cycling Proficiency, even R.E.! My stage lighting experience at Carisbrooke under Mr Denham’s supervision came in handy, too. When IT first began to reach the curriculum (well before I had my own computer), I was given a GCSE Computer Studies group to teach. Luckily there was a very helpful boy in the group who knew much more about the subject than I did, so with his help I muddled through!

As time moved on and schools began to manage more of their own affairs, I picked up other roles. This included the setting up of a finance system and overseeing budgets. What began as a “temporary” job grew and grew until, in 2000, I stopped teaching altogether. By then, the software I was using had become a “management information system”. My task was to set up procedures and train teachers in the use of computers for timetabling, pupil registration and attendance records, recording of exam and assessment results, reporting to parents and so on.

By the time this was done, I was beginning to wind down but the school where I worked had taken under its wing an inner city Birmingham school that was not doing too well. So, for a while I spent two days a week training their staff too. I’m now officially retired although I still go back for occasional sessions of exam invigilation.

Everyone seems to find retirement becomes just as busy as working, and we’re no exception. The grandchildren are a delight. We see them at least once a week. Various groups and activities take up plenty of time and we’re getting about more than when we were working. We still come back to the Island two or three times a year to visit family.

Looking at the website makes me realise how hazy my memory has become – the little grey cells are not what they used to be! Having missed the last reunion, I’m really looking forward to meeting old friends again this time.

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