Teacher Carole hangs up her marking pen

Mexborough Montagu primary school teacher Carole Henshaw is retiring after 36 years. She is pictured here with pupils Joseph, Ruth, Sam, Anita, Brad and Sarah. Picture: Marie Caley S0013MC.
Mexborough Montagu primary school teacher Carole Henshaw is retiring after 36 years. She is pictured here with pupils Joseph, Ruth, Sam, Anita, Brad and Sarah. Picture: Marie Caley S0013MC.

Carole Henshaw always said it would be time for her to retire when her school in Mexborough started to welcome the grandchildren of the children who were pupils when she began her career there.

That hasn’t happened – quite.

“But it won’t be long,” said the class teacher who left full-time teaching at the end of last term after 36 years in the same school.

“There will be some starting in the nursery class soon,”

When she started it was Adwick Road Juniors, but whilst she was off on maternity leave the school became Mexborough Montagu Primary.

“I’ve never wanted to leave it,” said Mrs Henshaw, 57. And she hasn’t completely left.

When the new term starts in autumn some of the children will be surprised to see her back in school.

“I shall be going for in for one day a week,” she said. “At the end of term I said to them that they never knew when I might be back in their classroom, teaching them again.”

Throughout almost four decades of teaching, Mrs Henshaw has seen enormous changes in the way education is run.

“But the children are just the same,” she said. “People say they’re different, but they’re not really.

“I wish I’d written down some of the things they say. I could have written a book.”

Apart from a couple of spells as acting deputy head Mrs Henshaw, who lives in Conisborough, has always been a classroom teacher.

“That’s what I’ve loved,” she said. “Rising up the ranks means you can’t do that so much, and I didn’t want to leave it behind.

“I shall miss the children and the staff as well.”

Mrs Henshaw’s retirement was brought forward a little so she could help her husband through a recently-diagnosed illness, and she’ll also be busy with the sewing machine she was given as a retirement gift.

“I always used to sew and do arts and crafts, so now I shall have time to do that again,” she said.

As well as the children, retirement also means leaving behind colleague John Scatchard, the school’s head teacher.

“He’s risen to the ‘lofty heights’ after 33 years in the school,” she added.