June Boyd hadn’t started primary school when she first got a classroom desk and chair for Christmas, but from that early age she knew when she grew up, she wanted be a teacher.
Now, retiring after 37 years, the Fair Hill Primary School teacher has been looking back over her years in the profession.
“I always encouraged the children to follow their dreams and be whatever they want to be,” said June, whose retirement was marked with a special assembly on Thursday October 9.
“I never wanted to do anything else other than teach since I was a child, and because I followed my dreams I always like to encourage the children to follow theirs.”
“I also encouraged the children to learn something new every day and share it with someone and I believe you’re never too old to learn.”
June, who completed her training in England, feels indebted to Mr Alan Grier.
“Mr Grier was the principal at Kinallen Primary School at the time, and he gave me my first job,” she said.
June then made the move with Kinallen Primary School when it amalgamated with two other schools to form Fair Hill.
June’s commitment to teaching was apparent in her devotion to extra curricular activities.
“I loved school trips,” said June “and also ran a cookery club after school. I enjoyed these informal and more relaxed times.
“I helped prepare for sports days, was involved in promoting healthy eating and was in charge of the buddy system whereby some of the P7 children were responsible for looking after younger ones in the playground.
“I have a great love of books and I always tried to instil this into the children too.”
“I always held the parents in high esteem and appreciated that they were trusting me with their children.”
With such a busy schedule it’s no wonder Jean felt one of the biggest challenges as a teacher was finding enough hours in the day.
Jean found the special assembly to mark her retirement quite emotional.
“It was lovely and the children were terrific,” said Jean.
“One little boy, Jack Hamill, piped in with a solo on the bagpipes. I actually taught his father as well, so it was lovely.
“The P1 to P3’s sang our school song and the P3 to P5’s sang a piece called As we go now from this moment.”
Jean has not as yet made any plans for retirement.
“I’m not rushing into anything just yet,” she said.
“At the moment I’ve been enjoying my garden and spending a bit more time with my mother and I’m accepting any coffee invitations I get.”