Letter:Primary schools, British Gas and veal

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The Independent Online
From Mr Peter M. Little Sir: Wendy Berliner's article "A job for life that nobody wants" (6 February) reminded me of my first teacher at Chequer Mead C. P. in East Grinstead, in 1967. Mrs Baker regularly taught the reception class. She stopped the boys charging around too violently on the ride-on toys, and let the girls (and me) have the Wendy-house to ourselves. She comforted us when we fell over, read to us and helped us begin to learn to read and write. But, above all, she made me feel special, important and individual.

I knew that what I did and how I did it was important to her. It made me want to please her. She made time for me, even inviting me to her house on one or two occasions. It is only now, nearly 30 years later, with my eldest child soon to start school, that I realise she did this for every child.

How can today's children have the welcome to school life that my generation enjoyed, when teachers are under such pressure, juggling - shortage of time against shortage of money? Mrs Baker is dead now, but her gift lives on in primary school teachers andhead teachers such as Sylvia Morris.

I was going to conclude by saying good luck to them; but it is not luck they need, it is money. Money for better facilities, new buildings, computers. Above all, money to recruit new teachers and to retain existing ones. After all, who does a more important job: the chairman of British Gas or the teachers of our children.

Yours faithfully, Peter M. Little Chichester, West Sussex

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