Retiring teacher had a ball - lots of them

Dot Andrews has retired from Spotswood college after 44 years work.
Dot Andrews has retired from Spotswood college after 44 years work.

Sports-mad PE teacher Dot Andrews can't imagine spending the last 44 years having done anything else.

Miss Andrews has retired from the roles of year 10 dean, physical education and transition teacher at Spotswood College after 44 years at the school.

"The years have just flown one into the other. You just don't realise it's 44 years while you're enjoying working with the kids."

An all-rounder on the sports field, Miss Andrews has represented Taranaki in hockey, cricket, tennis and golf.

Becoming a PE teacher was a natural progression for her.

"I loved my sport and it was sport-orientated. I had my heart set on it right from the very start."

She reckoned her job was one of the most rewarding out there.

"You see the results and a little bit of success breeds more success. Seeing a kid who has never hit a tennis ball before connect and realise 'I can do that'."

She has always found the kids appreciative and the parents supportive. Working together with the kids rather than against them meant she never encountered any discipline problems, she said.

"You take an interest in their interests and they tend to give a little more."

She said being outside rather than stuck in a classroom helped curb naughty behaviour.

She said PE played a vital role in students' development.

"Team situations make kids communicate better, they learn respect and it's something different from just clicking buttons."

She realised it was time to go when she was getting tired and running out of enthusiasm.

"To stick around when you feel like that, that's not fair."

Spotswood College principal Mark Bowden said he was envious of Miss Andrews' phenomenal memory.

"What never ceases to amaze me is that we have parents coming into school and they remember Dot, and she remembers them."

He said her loyalty to the school and to the kids both today and in the past had been outstanding.

Miss Andrews is looking forward to having more time for golf and whitebaiting in Oakura.

Taranaki Daily News