What qualities do you need to work at Dallington?
Assuming these are personal qualities... in no particular order....
- A good sense of humour
- An ability to work pro-actively
- Good communication skills with a keen ability to listen
- Good inter-personal skills, including an ability to see another’s point of view from their perspective.
- An ability to work as a member of a team.
- Commitment to do your very best in the job that you do.
What is unique about Dallington?
The passion of its founder.
How many years have you been working with children and how many of those have been at Dallington?
Although I don’t work directly with children, I worked in some very large state schools (both Primary and Secondary) over ten years. Prior to working in the education sector, I had a long career in industry in my chosen field which is accounting and finance.
Who or what inspires you?
A deep question.
‘Who’: Leaders from the modern era like Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King who brought about massive, disruptive but positive change to the lives millions of their fellow citizens by non-violent means.
‘What’: Seeing the best qualities of humanity (love, compassion and kindness) and everything good about human creativity ( great art, great music, great acting and great writing).
What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Visiting a loved one every day immediately after work for more than three months and having to leave her in a setting that was alien to her, seeing her fight against it, whilst at the same time knowing instinctively it was for her own good. As it turned out, my instinct proved correct and my loved one returned to her home, well and in good health.
Tell us a funny children’s anecdote...
Speaking about love and marriage, a ten year old boy was quoted as saying: "Twenty three is the best age (to marry) because you know the person forever by then." Talk about feeling ancient!
If you had a wish, what would it be?
The serious one: that there would be peace and harmony in the world and suffering was alien to all.
The not so serious one: that my wife and I could have tea with the Queen. My wife would be lost for words for once.
What was your experience at your school?
My junior school experience was a good one and from what I can remember, the teachers, especially my form teacher (Miss Stanbrook) and my Headteacher (Mr McGuire) were all very kind and taught us well.
My senior school experience was initially of shock as it was all male and the 6th formers all appeared to be much older and bigger to me then than their counterparts do now. Of course, most of us 11 year olds were still attired in short trousers and wore caps. I remember the tuck shop being opened in the morning break and I enjoyed sticky current buns with milk. The Headmaster was usually around eating a sugar coated doughnut.
I remember at the start of my 5th year that I was selected to be a Prefect and I had no say in the matter. Complete with sown on ribbon armbands and enamel badge on my blazer, my duty was to be stationed outside the staff room, keeping the kids in order as they passed. There were many occasions when I had to pass a message to a teacher inside and I well remember the haze of smoke as I opened the door each time.
My Art teacher, a lovely man called Mr Garrett called me Louis (pronounced ‘Lewey’) and I’ll never know why. I was good at Art and I took A’ level at aged 16, skipping O’ Level. I am indebted to another lovely man, my History teacher, who taught me the fundamentals of accounting and double entry book-keeping when I was 15. I could write up the books of companies and produce final accounts many years before computers and electronic adding machines were commercially available.
What do you wish you had known at school that you know now?
How much potential I had.
What makes you happy/sad?
I feel happy when I see others genuinely happy and they needn’t be human. Dusty dog makes me feel happy when she comes into school because I can see she is too.
I feel happy when I hear natural sounds like rain falling or streams flowing or birds singing. I feel happy seeing bashful squirrels on my way to work scrambling back up the tree after seeing me. I feel happy seeing the blossoms of the hanging baskets that my wife lovingly tends to on our balcony. I feel happy seeing butterflies and bees visiting our little bit of garden on that balcony.
I feel sad when I see or read about suffering.
Tell us something you have learned from a child...
That the simple things in life can make you truly happy.
Tell us a secret…
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret.
Tell us a joke!
Sid the sea lion was just swimming out of Shady the loan shark’s office, feeling ever so worried. “How will I ever pay him back and did I really hear him correctly about what I owed him?” he thought. He swam and swam for what seemed like ages before he came across someone he knew. It was Cedric the squid. “How are you?” called out Sid as he neared his acquaintance. “I’m not feeling too good today, Sid” replied Cedric, barely able to speak. “I’m off to visit the doctor but I’ll have to wait ages for the next underwater bus.” “I’m sorry to hear that” said Sid and he was just about to swim away when he had the thought.....”that solves my problem!” He immediately turned to Cedric and said: “Hop on my back and I’ll give you a lift into town”. So the two of them swam away, with dear Cedric hanging on to the back of Sid for dear life. They arrived at the town and Sid said. “I’ve just got a bit of business to attend to if that’s alright with you Cedric, but you can come with me”. “No problem” croaked a grateful Cedric, now feeling all the worse for the bumpy ride into town. Sid knocked on the door with Cedric still on his back and a fierce voice responded: “Come in and be quick about it!” Sid nervously opened the door. At a tired, old desk sat Shady the loan shark. “Oh, it’s you and who’s this you’ve brought with you?” asked Shady of Sid and pointing menacingly to Cedric. “It’s the sick squid I owe you.” “No” bellowed Shady ... “You owe me six quid.”
If you could learn anything, what would it be?
How to fly a plane.
If you weren’t in the job you are now, what would you like to do or be?
A hospital doctor.