October 2019 Speaker
The October meeting was again well attended. Our speaker this month was Brian Carline who spent 47 years teaching in secondary schools, from student teacher through to headmaster. He started teaching in Lancashire and then after a couple of years moved down south to Dagenham, then onto Harold Hill, Islington and eventually to Epping Forest.
He related his early teaching experiences of being given classes from 1st year to upper 6th form and often having to teach classes where he was probably only one lesson ahead of his pupils in various subjects. Early on he realised that as well as having the educational knowledge, a sense of humour was also a great asset. So with a friend from his youth he formed a Comedy Duo and performed in a gala performance of New Faces on TV in 1977. They also appeared in many variety locations around the London area in the evenings. His presentation to us was so full of comedy quips that we were not quite sure whether the stories were true or fictitious.
On a more serious note he also explained that teachers needed to be firm with the youngsters but also fair in their actions. Teachers soon learn that their multiple roles in caring and educating their pupils is an enormous challenge.
Brian was very pleased to say that one of his pupils (who started to miss some school lessons in his 5th year) eventually became a number one snooker champion, so his time practising snooker at Kings Cross Snooker Hall instead of school lessons paid off in later years. A number of our members are retired teachers or have worked in schools in other capacities so could relate to many of his recollections.
His final comments were ‘Everyone remembers a good teacher’ and ‘Never underestimate your pupils’. As mentioned earlier a good sense of humour definitely helps, in any occupation, and especially in public speaking as Brian showed us at this meeting.