‘I have loved every minute of teaching’

Karen Rea
Karen Rea

A teacher has just retired from Larkfield Junior School in Nuthall after a whopping 40 years.

Colleagues said Karen Rea ‘gave her life’ to the school and did a fantastic job.

Receptionist Jessica Wood said: “She gave her life to the school. She gave everything.”

Teacher Jan Beale worked with Karen for 17 years.

She said: “It’s an absolutely amazing achievement.

“She is one of the most caring teachers you could come across.

“The care she had for the children was amazing and I loved working with her.

“She really knew the children as individuals and could respond to their needs.

“Her manner with them was wonderful.

“You knew she really cared for them. She was lovely to them all the time.

“It’s sad to see her go, but we shall keep in touch.”

Karen, who took up the post in 1977, said there were two reasons why she decided to stay at the school and not move on.

She said:“The school was just lovely, and the parents and the children were lovely.

“Also teaching is changing all the time nowadays as it is, without moving to a different school as well.”

Karen, from Eastwood, said the best thing about the school was the atmosphere.

“The family atmosphere was the best thing,” she said.

“I’ve just got so many memories of so many experiences of different things we have done.”

The 64-year-old was the eco co-ordinator, and put the school forward for the Green Flag award twice.

Mrs Beale said: “She did an amazing job on the school grounds, and they look the way they do because of Karen.

“She had parents in at the weekends planting bulbs and the grounds look stunning.

“She was instrumental in getting us a new pond dug out and generally looking after the school environment, making the kids aware of environment issues.”

Karen said she had loved every minute of the 40 years.

“I have loved every minute of my teaching career and it has been a privilege to be part of Larkfields Junior.

“I worked alongside wonderful colleagues, including five headteachers.

“The pupils have been a joy to teach and the feedback from parents has been heartwarming.

“The school is part of the fabric of my being and will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Larkfields Junior’s former headteacher Pete Taylor, who worked with Karen for many years, described her as “a kind, caring, inspirational person who played an integral role in the school’s success”.

“She is a great teacher and lovely person who will long be remembered for all she has done to help make the school a special place to be educated,” he added.

She was given a memorable send-off as she bid a fond farewell to Larkfields Junior School last Friday.

Teachers, admin staff, past colleagues and members of the Parents and Teachers Association all gathered at a party to say goodbye to Karen ahead of the end of term this week.