The patter of tiny feet is a familiar sound to teacher Sue Fixter as more than 1,000 pupils have passed through her primary school classrooms over the years.
For the last few of her 36 years in teaching, Sue has been able to surprise her young charges by telling them that she taught their mum or dad or auntie.
I would say her core is St Paul’s – she’s a bit like a stick of rock and St Paul’s is written all the way through her.Headteacher Kira Nicholls
Sue (57) is bowing out this week after 33 years at St Paul’s Community Primary School in Spalding.
She began her career in Donington before moving to the Queens Road school.
When asked what has kept her at St Paul’s for so long, Sue says: “The children, really, because the kids are so lovely. They are really a joy to work with most of the time because they are always eager and keen and enthusiastic.”
Sue’s former pupils have a habit of keeping in touch because they are dropping off or collecting their own kids.
Sue said: “I sometimes tell the children ‘I taught your mum, your dad or your auntie’. They are a bit incredulous at the start but then I suppose they ask at home.”
Sue began her career teaching reception children, but has gradually found herself teaching youngsters who are a little older and for the last couple of years has been looking after Year 4 pupils.
The job has seen many changes over the years.
Sue said: “There’s a lot more paperwork, a lot more time spent out of hours, evenings and weekends.
“When I first started teaching, I had a second job. I used to be a barmaid – but not anymore. I couldn’t go home and do that now.
“Every time there is a change of Government, there is a change of curriculum. I don’t know how many different changes of curriculum there have been.”
Former headteachers were among those attending a reception for Sue at the school on Tuesday afternoon and there was an assembly yesterday (Wednesday) when there were tributes to her hard work and dedication over the years.
Headteacher Kira Nicholls said: “In the short time I have known Sue, she has been incredibly hardworking.
“Many of our parents remember her teaching them as well.
“I would say her core is St Paul’s – she’s a bit like a stick of rock and St Paul’s is written all the way through her.”
Miss Nicholls praised Sue’s hard work, commitment and dedication to teaching, which has allowed so many pupils to achieve their potential.
“We wish her well in her retirement and hope she enjoys her lie-ins,” she said.
Speaking on Tuesday, Sue said it hadn’t really sunk in with her that she was leaving St Paul’s.
“It’s like breaking up for the summer holidays,” she said. “But I am going to go away in the first week of September when they are going back to school – I am taking advantage of the cheaper holidays now I haven’t got to go in term time.”
Sue’s last lessons on Tuesday revolved around IT.
She said: “We had a bit of fun today. The children like working on the computers.”
Sue hasn’t completely ruled out a return to the classroom at some stage, but will sample life in retirement.
She said: “I might decide to do supply teaching but if I like not working I won’t.”
Educated at Boston High School, Sue has lived in Boston all of her life – apart from her uni years – and has been married to Paul for 33 years.
The couple have two daughters, Natalie Barnett (27) and Melissa Fixter (23).