More “Neil’s Decades” – 5: 50 years ago this week

As I noted in the first of this set:

1966: Began my appointment to Cronulla High School.

From the Facebook Album:


I noted that it is fifty years when school resumed this week. Unbelievable! See also Random Friday memory 27: my first election 1966 – and now…

And then just over a week ago here I recycled a 27 January 2007 post:

The next year or two will see a massive generational change in the teaching service as the Boomers retire or fall off the twig. I began my career way back in 1966, forty-one years ago. Not many teachers with that length of record were still in the service when I started, and once I moved to the Wollongong area in 1970 just about everyone seemed to be a twenty-something. Those days may be about to come round again.

I thought of this today as I was negotiating with a Year 11 boy, just back from the familial holiday visit to China, who wishes to start coaching next week. He is the cousin of Jessie, who was a Year 12 coachee last year. (God, now these coachees have lived their entire lives during the period I have known M!)

The Rabbit begins his teaching career proper on Monday in one of these schools. Good heavens, their Multicultural/ESL Consultant, Carol Marshman, is stationed in Wollongong! These people have been cut back severely in recent years. Where once maybe four consultants in this field covered from just north of Wollongong (The Shire) to the Harbour and west to around Ashfield, now one does that job. I can tell you from experience these consultants were mighty useful, but these days it must be hard for them to have an effect…

Said Rabbit, I see, is this week commencing his second appointment as a Head of  Department at a school in the Liverpool region: a comprehensive coeducational high school with an enrolment of 1206 students (Year 7 to Year 12), including 81% of students who are from a non-English speaking background.

Now I do feel old!