Toko­roa cou­ple to call time on teach­ing

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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