School Days, Reminiscences of Pauline King

Hi all! I thought I’d share with you a conversation I had with my friend Norah on her blog last week. If you don’t know her yet and are a writer or have an interest in education – or both – this is your chance to meet a wonderful friend and blogger, a knowledgeable and talented early educator and an avid supporter of writing prompts. Plus of course a chance to catch up with me sounding off about my old career and an ongoing passion of mine……. Do drop by and say hello to Norah and me and join in the conversation.

Norah Colvin

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications.

This week, I am pleased to introduce Pauline King, The Contented Crafter. Pauline and I have been online friends for a long time. I can’t quite remember where we met, but I think it may have been through Geoff Le Pard.

Pauline and I clicked straight away as we have a lot in common and share many similar views about education. At one time, each of us even contemplated starting our own school.

I wish I’d known Pauline and had the opportunity of working alongside and learning from her while I was still working in the classroom. Although Pauline says that she has left that part (teaching) of…

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54 thoughts on “School Days, Reminiscences of Pauline King

  1. I very much like your views Pauline. I work in education and try to make learning fun as well as educational, with a heavy emphasis on thinking things through. I think it’s important to let children know that learning doesn’t stop at the school gates, we are life long learners.


  2. Lovely to learn more about you, Pauline. What a busy and varied life you’ve led! I wish I’d had teachers like you when I was at school, though junior school was fine. Secondary school was all rote learning, with very little respect for the arts. I took the wrong route precisely because of the school pushing getting girls into science and I didn’t know my own mind as much as I needed to, to go against the tide a little more. It was only in later life in my 30s that I came back to the arts and humanities, not to mention a whole different way of learning based on interest and curiosity and passion! THAT was a real education! (This is in my mind at the mo because of the memoir and your beliefs about education really relate to my own experience). Cheers, Pauline :>)

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    • Lynne, thank you for visiting and commenting. You have just raised a really interesting point. I think for many of us, we don’t know our own minds until we are in our late twenties (prior to that we are being herded in the directions chosen by parents and teachers and others of influence) and then it often takes a couple or more years before we can arrange things to follow our own dreams……. And for some it is too late, the die has been cast and they are trapped. Well, until they have ‘a midlife crisis’ and throw off their ‘normal’ life to do something deemed crazy. And then again, I do wonder how common are stories such as mine. I always knew what I wanted to do, but was parentally forced into a role that she considered apt. So, same story, I had to be fully aware and strong enough in order to follow the dream. There were at the time several who said I had ‘gone mad’. πŸ™‚ The journey is always the interesting part I think, but we are both very fortunate in that we found the way to be who we were meant to be despite the obstacles. Yay us!!

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  3. Loved reading about you. I was an English teacher and writing teacher a long time ago. My specific niche was working with children with traumatic brain injuries. I also worked with children who the school system had given up on and were slated to be the most likely to end up in prison. I found teaching both types of students deeply rewarding and deeply draining.

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  4. Great interview, Pauline. It was fun to hear about your first encounter with the name Orlando. And I am glad you eventually found your way through the education system to a satisfying place. I went from my mother’s kindergarten into Primer One in a type of state school. I was not particularly impressed by Primer One and Two but Standard I and 2 were the best school years of my life because I was taught by a substitute teacher who was actually a nurse. She made up things as she went along ( I think) and I had a blast. She told me later I was hardwork because I finished everything she gave me to do so quickly she was always wracking her brain over how to keep me occupied.

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  5. Really interesting to read more about you Pauline.
    My own educational experiences in the U.K. weren’t toΓ² bad actually although not aΔΊl my teacjers were inspiratonal by any means. My French teacher actually bet me money I wouldn’t pass my French exam. I did pass (just) and I wonder what she would think if she were still alive today and could see where I’ve ended up living.
    My daughters went to a wonderful primary school in a village in the U.K. where the first two years were spent with the perfect teacher for children just starting school. France was a different experience for them altogether. I won’t go into it too much but, just 14 years ago when we moved here and my girls were 11 and 9 years old, children were still getting slaps from the teachers, learning by rote was the norm, the arts were undervalued and mathematics reigned supreme, individual thinking was not encouraged and bad teachers were allocated to the schools, not chosen, so couldn’t easily be got rid of. At least that was our experience in this rural area – I’m not sure things have changed much.

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    • Yikes! I know nothing about the French system – maybe thankfully. All my career was spent outside the ‘normal’ system of education and we mopped up many shattered children and their parents. Not always successfully mind. This is what happens when government takes over education without understanding what the thing really is for.


    • Wow, Tialys, I’m really surprised by what you said about French schools.
      I think your French teacher would be very surprised to find you now live in France. πŸ™‚

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  6. Good to learn more about you and hear your views on education. Sadly here in the UK too schools on the whole seem unable to understand what education really needs to give children.

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