Tokoroa couple to call time on teaching
After 43 years of teaching in the South Waikato the Bentley’s have announced their retirement.
Dr Trevor and Helen Bentley, who have taught at several local schools during their lengthy careers, said it felt right to call time at the end of this year.
‘‘People say you know when it’s time and strangely enough you do. We still like our jobs but we feel it is time,’’ Helen said.
She said they have thoroughly enjoyed working in Tokoroa over the years which began with a position for her at Tokoroa Intermediate and at Tokoroa High School for Dr Trevor who is a keen historian and published author of four pre-treaty New Zealand books.
‘‘It was the only place in the country where we could both get jobs as we didn’t want to be working on different sides of Auckland but we also just liked the community,’’ Dr Trevor said.
‘‘It is a very special community, there is no other place like it. The people are very supportive in all kinds of situations,’’ Helen added.
Dr Trevor, who teachers Year 13 history at Tokoroa High School as well as adult education at the South Waikato’s four colleges, said he will miss seeing students succeed.
‘‘The first thing I learnt as a teacher was that you have to relate to the students, you have got to click with them. If you build up that rapport you can do some really effective teaching,’’ he said.
‘‘You have got to see and treat them as people even if they little, they are not just repositories for your knowledge and pontificating, they are people and they often teach you a thing or two too,’’ Helen said.
Helen, who was also a hospital class teacher before the heath system was restructured, has spent 20 years of her career as a reading recovery teacher.
‘‘I became hooked on the literacy area, the acquisition stage of reading and writing, and it has been my passion really,’’ she said.
‘‘I will miss the children as they really get into your heart and they are very special little people.’’
The couple, who are both keen travellers, plan to now do more travel.
‘‘We are looking at touring New Zealand by caravan and spending lots of time with the two grandchildren,’’ Dr Trevor said.
‘‘We’ve also got another one that is coming so it is an exciting time,’’ Helen said.
They will relocate to Papamoa.