‘Getting paid has just been a bonus’: Canonbury Primary teacher retiring after 36 years

Canonbury Primary School teacher Jackie Dodds is retiring after 36 years at the school. Picture: Ken

Canonbury Primary School teacher Jackie Dodds is retiring after 36 years at the school. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A nursery teacher admits she will be “distraught” when she retires after 36 years at Canonbury Primary School.

Jackie Dodds, early years educator, has had the surreal experience of teaching the children of pupils she taught more than 30 years ago.

Having joined in 1980, 63-year-old Jackie will take her last lesson at the end of term in July.

She said: “I teach children of children I taught years ago. I always said, ‘the first day that happens, I am going to leave’. But it’s happened eight times now and I am still here!

“It’s wonderful to see the mums and dads. I see them for the first time since they were little and they seem to shrink in my mind to when they are three years old again.”

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Jackie grew up in Beresford Road, Highbury, and now lives just one street away in Grosvenor Avenue.

She added: “Every single day here is different. You might be a bit miserable going into work but the kids will always pick you up. Working here has helped me through some very sad times: like my husband, mum and dad dying.

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“I have loved every second of it. I always say getting paid is simply a bonus, because I enjoy it that much. But I feel the time is right to retire and do different stuff, like volunteering and travelling.

“It’s a big decision, one of the hardest I’ve ever made, and when the time does come that I leave, I will be distraught. The only think I won’t miss is getting up early in the morning.”

Tracy Tucker, Jackie’s colleague of 11 years, said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with her.

“She has a special bond with the children and has been part of this school for so long. She will be missed by everyone, from staff to children to parents.”

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