A MUCH loved long-serving teacher has retired after educating generations of children in Greatham village.
Pauline Sirrell said a fond farewell to colleagues and children at Greatham Primary School, where she has taught for 36 years.
During her career, Pauline has taught countless village children including many of the current youngsters’ parents.
Pauline, 58, of Seaton Carew, has decided to take early retirement but admitted it was a wrench to leave.
She joined Greatham Primary straight after leaving teacher training college in September 1976 and has always taught small children in reception, nursery and Years 1 and 2.
“I have always enjoyed it here,” said Pauline. “I have worked for quite a few headteachers so it was like starting at a new school at times.
“It doesn’t really feel like I have left yet. I think it will be when everyone goes back on January 7 that it will feel I have left but I’m looking forward to it.
“I don’t know exactly how many children I have taught over the years but it is a lot.
“The people of Greatham, all the children, families, and staff have been wonderful.”
Pauline was inundated with gifts and good wishes from the school and parents on her final day including flowers and chocolates.
She said she is looking forward to spending more time with her family including her daughter and new baby grand-daughter.
Headteacher Julie Tyerman paid tribute to her describing her as “a legend”.
Mrs Tyerman said: “She has probably taught most of the population of Greatham village across the years.
“The pupils love her. She is marvellous and will be greatly missed.
“We had a presentation on her last day when she was given gifts from children and parents.
“We wish her a long and happy retirement and thank her for all her contributions.”