29th June 2012
CREWKERNE: Popular teacher steps down after 39 years in the job
THIRTY nine years after arriving as a student teacher, popular sports co-ordinator Bob Brunt has decided to retire from Maiden Beech Academy in Crewkerne.
However he won’t be hanging up his running shoes just yet and has other plans afoot.
One of the reasons for Bob’s retirement, having recently turned 60, is his great love of family and with six children and nine grandchildren all living on the doorstep, he is not expecting a quiet retirement by any means.
When Bob started at Maiden Beech it was a new middle school and his aunt, Mrs Churchill, was the very popular school cook. His brother-in-law John Baker had also been a new teacher at the school.
Bob became involved in local football as a referee and his whole family have been connected with the Perry Street League but cricket is also a great love and he coached the county school boys.
In recent years Bob became a School Sports Partnership Coordinator, working with younger children in Crewkerne and Ilminster, which he has thoroughly enjoyed has and given him a link with every type of sports club in the area.
Bob lived in Mosterton for over 20 years and went to school in Beaminster and Broadwindsor.With a passion for sport, it was suggested he teach the subject and he went to St Luke’s in Exeter for teacher training.
He said: “Sport got me into teaching, I do enjoy being with young people and talking to them, getting to know them. I was a year head for nearly 30 years and taught a lot of the parents of the ones I see now. I must have had a certain level of success because I‘ve never fallen out with a parent.
“I’ve worked with some wonderful people. I taught maths as well as sprt and went on lots of residentials - we went to the Isle of Wight for four years. They were brilliant because you would see such a change in the kids. All of a sudden, the ones who had been a right pain at school completely turned around in the family atmosphere.
“Recently I went to one of the first schools and this little one looked up at me and said ‘you taught my granddad’ and that made me think, maybe now’s the time to go.
“I’m finishing teaching in July but will still be the school games coordinator for one day a week.
I didn’t start the year thinking I would retire. I did wonder about making it to 40 years but now seems right.
“Things have changed so much - trying to get children active and linked to clubs - you are constantly battling against Facebook.
“Looking back I think perhaps I should have worked with the younger ones sooner, and in retirement I plan to do that, on a casual basis.
During an Olympics event we had on Henhayes, with Swanmead and Maiden Beech, Sharon Anstey and the toddler groups, who will be moving into the new sports centre, asked if they could join in. They loved it and asked if we could do something again. I just love seeing their little faces, they jump at anything.
Ruth and I will soon have 10 grandchildren and we have a caravenette and want to travel a bit and spend time together.”
Bob has also recently returned to running having taken part in three marathons in the 90s. With his youngest son Luke they have been challenging themselves to run up the steep Seaborough Hill.
He has also joined Crewkerne Running Club which has helped with one of his concerns about retirement - isolation. He said: “I’ve met a lot of new people and been up footpaths I didn’t know existed.”
As part of a big family celebration for his birthday, they presented him with a scrap book of photos and comments spanning his 60 years, both at home and in school life.
Bob added: “Ruth received a phone call from one grandson this afternoon - is Grandad back yet, I want to play water fights with him again.
“It looks like I am in for a wet retirement!”
PICTURE: BOB Brunt planning to retire after 39 years of teaching
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