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Were you encouraged and inspired at school ? Home?

(104 Posts)
silverlining48 Thu 07-May-20 15:36:34

Just that really. I left school in 1963. My school took the view we would leave at 15 or could perhaps ‘ stay on’ til 16. Employment would be either office, shop, or factory. I had no careers advice.p and no one asked about my interests and aptitude or if I had a preference. I didn’t think there was an option and never ever questioned this.

What was your experience?

Greeneyedgirl Thu 07-May-20 20:54:06

My father was in the forces and I went to at least 10 or 11 schools. Never had time to settle or make long lasting friendships or learn consistently.

I was particularly good a art and my art teacher encouraged me to apply to Art School, but parents wouldn't hear of it, and I had to leave school as soon as possible, and earn money to contribute to the household.

I eventually gained qualifications by attending night school after I was married.

Two of my younger sisters went to Art School, and both got degrees. Ah well!

vampirequeen Thu 07-May-20 21:08:46

I left school just before taking my A levels. I'd just had enough and couldn't do it anymore. All the teachers were horrible about it except one. Mr Cook, the history teacher, told me that leaving school didn't mean I couldn't return to education at a later date even if it was years later. His words stayed with me and in my thirties I started a degree with the OU. Six years later I had a BA(Hons) and a year after that I had a PGCE and was teaching primary. I'll always be grateful to Mr Cook for not writing me off but planting a seed that germinated and bore fruit many years later.

geekesse Thu 07-May-20 21:09:51

My (selective independent) school wouldn’t allow me to do Art or Religious Studies O levels because I was in the top stream, and we had to do Latin and a second modern language instead. The careers advisor confidently predicted I’d end up being ‘something mathematical, an actuary possibly’. RS and Art were considered to be less academically challenging. After leaving school I briefly made decent money as an artist, taught ballet, and after the kids were born, I studied and worked my way to a PhD in Theology, a qualification that has kept me in work ever since. Latin proved moderately useful, but not essential, to my professional life, but the only time I ever used German was to translate a French menu to a German tourist at a restaurant in Calais.

MissAdventure Thu 07-May-20 22:59:59

Not particularly, but I wasn't particularly career minded, sadly, and I absolutely loathed school.

paddyanne Thu 07-May-20 23:15:56

Left at 15 despite my parents and head teacher trying to make me stay at school.Started work in my chosen job the next week ,went from Studio to studio for 6 years and then with my new husband who I met at work started our own business,Its still paying the bills 44 years on .I wouldn't change a thing .

tinaf1 Fri 08-May-20 00:23:31

Went to grammar school stayed on , didn’t do that great , always wanted to be a hairdresser so couldn’t see the point in exams and also because I was the eldest had to help out a lot at home my mum had an evening job and mine was to take over from her when I came home from school .
Anyway the hairdressing dream didn’t materialize as in 60’s it was a four year apprenticeship on very little money and when I did leave school I worked in an office to help out with family finances
Don’t ever remember getting any careers advice from school.
Blimey that was long
Wish I had become a hairdresser I am dying for a cut and colour.

Evie64 Fri 08-May-20 00:26:54

I remember asking my stepmother if I could stay on at school and do A levels, as there where then. Her answer was "What's the point, you're only gonna get married and have babies"! I duly left school, got a job in the Civil Service in Whitehall. They sent me to college on day release and I went on to do a Management Degree and had a very successful career. Such a shame I wasn't encouraged at home, but hey, perhaps it made me the person I am today eh? At school I vividly remember our history teacher. She was Jewish survivor from Czechoslovakia. When we began studying WW2 I clearly remember her saying "put your text books away, I will tell you what it was like". Amazing lady and that memory has stayed with me all my life.

MissAdventure Fri 08-May-20 00:44:33

I went into the civil service when I wasn't allowed to go to college.
My mum said I'd spent every single day of school hating it, so why would I put myself through more of it?

I tend to think she was right, but that may be because I know no better.

GabriellaG54 Fri 08-May-20 01:28:34

My father was called into the school and told that I wasn't making the best use of my time there. Not disruptive in any way but only tried at the subjects I liked, art and English lang & lit.
He paid £10 for me to leave a year early and got me an interview with JL as a trainee window dresser. I hated it.
He died the following year and I applied to do nurse training which I loved, especially theatres.
Mum had a lot to cope with as there were 3 others at home the youngest being 4/5 and was happy to see me being independent. I never lived at home beyond my 17th birthday and always made my own money.
I married in my 20s and decided to study law which has always been my overriding interest.
I gained a 2-1 and later a masters plus a 1yr distance learning diploma in forensic graphology through JM Uni.
Murder and associated criminal activity continues to interest me.

GabriellaG54 Fri 08-May-20 01:31:56

I might add that the teachers at Grammar school did nothing to make any subject interesting.

MissAdventure Fri 08-May-20 01:34:57

That sounds so interesting.
It's a pity I have so little 'get up and go'.

I've always been interested in murderers, since I was a teen.

GabriellaG54 Fri 08-May-20 01:38:49

That's such a sad story. I feel for you. 💐

GabriellaG54 Fri 08-May-20 01:40:44

Let's hope there are none on here MissAdventure

BradfordLass73 Fri 08-May-20 07:19:55

silverlining48 Yes, me too. I could have written your post.

I was 15 when I left school but there had been no exam system there, so we all left without any qualifications.

Only two teachers were helpful: the Principal who wanted me to be transferred to a grammar school when I was 12 (my parents refused) and a teacher who boosted my English literature education and encouraged me to write.

I didn't come from a reading family (except Woman's Own and Commando war comics smile) and my disapproving parents didn't understand why I wanted to read all the time.

In fact, they never understood me; I was a cuckoo in the nest, to put it mildly.

Childhood and adolescence were therefore something of a struggle as my parents tried to force me to live up to their expectations and I didn't know how to do that.

At 14, I was put forward for art college as it was seen I had talent. My parents stomped on that too and my first job, as an office junior, was in the admin side of Lister's Mills.

I survived, as you do, and my life-long curiosity and lust for learning has stood me in good stead and still does.

mokryna Fri 08-May-20 07:44:03

ditto silverlining48
My school nor family helped or gave advice and left school at 15 in 65.
Wished one week later that I hadn't but wouldn't change my life as, although I have had some very bad patches I can't regret my daughters and grandchildren.
However, I really backed my children with their schooling because I thought it is so important and wanted them to be independent.

Grandad1943 Fri 08-May-20 08:12:24

I attended a council estate Secondary Modern school and left on the Christmas of 1959. That school like so many in that era totally failed me and many (if not all) that tried to become educated within them. There were no education certificates to leave with, just what was known as a "character reference" which gave details of your attendance record and punctuality etc.

In the days or weeks prior to leaving there were no individual careers advise sessions or even any group lectures to prepare you for the transfer into working forty hours plus per week in an adult world at the age of fifteen.

Thankfully it was a period when there were more jobs on offer than there were people to fill them, so all who left school with me obtained jobs and were working within days of leaving that failure of a school and education system.

Again thankfully, adult education was widely available and free of cost at that time which I like so many I availed myself of, which in my case totally changed my life and my outlook on that life.

eazybee Fri 08-May-20 08:45:31

Very much encouraged and inspired by my parents, to whom the prospect of secondary and tertiary education was the goal that dominated my schooling; both left school at fourteen.
At school, a girls' grammar, it was expected that we would go on to a career with qualifications, equal at the very least to that of boys; no nonsense about a nice little job until we got married. I thought most of the mistresses as clever but old-fashioned spinsters; now I realise they were highly intelligent, forward thinking women, determined that their girls seized the opportunities offered by a rapidly changing world in the early sixties.

allium Fri 08-May-20 09:07:21

Nobody, all inspiration has happened post school. l have spent a lifetime learning new things and still do.

henetha Fri 08-May-20 10:53:28

I was lucky enough to go to a grammar school with an inspiring head mistress, Miss Wilkinson. She was hugely popular and much loved throughout the whole town.
I've never forgotten most of her wise words and advice and still try to live up to them.

Alishka Fri 08-May-20 11:11:47

Looking back down the years, does anyone agree that the Headmistress could, and did, influence the curriculum? Our Head, an original Oxford Blue Stocking, was appalled both by our accents and our table manners.
She drafted in a friend of hers who gave us elocution lessons,etc., another who taught us deportment, and she was appalled when she came into the dining room...her pronouncement as she watched us eating peas "if you had needed a shovel we would have provided you with one" stays with me stillgrin
In history, tho, the slant towards the Empire and all that stood for, only became apparent in later lifeshock

harrigran Fri 08-May-20 11:25:28

The only career advice at our school was geared to factory work.
I made an appointment with the head and asked how I went about applying to a college of further education as I wished to become a nurse. She made it her business to get me the help I needed and gave me a lovely reference which helped at my interviews.
Parents contribution was a refusal to buy a TV because we would not do homework or read a book if we had a 'goggle box' in the corner.

Nannee49 Fri 08-May-20 11:57:51

It's pretty much apparent from the above posts that we had to forge our own paths in life in the 60's.

I was a bright kid passing my 11 plus and going on to an all girl's grammar school but, despite having loving parents, I never got any guidance from them and it was only through my own love of reading that my out of school education widened.

Careers advice at school was absolutely encouragement for the favoured ones, office work/nursing as the only alternatives for the rest of us with nothing inbetween. No mention of having a passion or vocation for nursing or indeed a passion or vocation for anything!

I think, in the main, our generation has done well producing strong, independent women who did, by our own efforts, go on to have more in life despite being let down by schools and/or parents whether the the neglect was benign or not.

Judy54 Fri 08-May-20 14:03:12

More thoughts. When I was at school it was domestic science and needlework for the girls woodwork and metalwork for the boys. My love of the English language and literature were never encouraged at school, it was all about preparing us to be good wives and domestic goddesses. I left at 15 but studied in later life getting a degree and a post graduate degree something my Teachers probably thought I would never be capable of.

Houndi Sat 09-May-20 09:50:13

Have just seen this on twitter were a girl of ten was to draw the view outside her window.She was in self isolation with potential covid so did this.Which i think is wonderful her art teacher gave her negative feedback and said that not outside your window

janthegranx6 Sat 09-May-20 10:02:40

In 1960 my father told me there was no point staying on at my secondary modern school because I'd only get married. So at 15, with no qualifications I went to work in a factory, and just to prove him right I got married at 20.

After 10 years as a mum of 3 my husband encouraged me to do O level English and to everyone's amazement I got an A. This was followed by 5 more O levels and 2 A levels, most at A. I wen't to the local teacher training college and passed with first class honours. As a teacher I made it my life's work to bathe my pupils in encouragement and support.

On retirement I did a masters in creative writing and got a distinction, useful for a second career teaching creative writing to the over 50's. It would have been easy to blame my parents and teachers for not recognizing my potential and the 5 years it took me to catch up. It has made me very aware of the potential in everybody, and how a well timed word of encouragement can change lives.