Lakesland teacher clocks up 60 years

For most, working until they are 80 would be a nightmare.

But not for Lakesland’s Louisa Singleman – she still loves her job.

And the proud teacher will clock up an impressive 60 years of service in the education sector on Saturday, September 8.

“I love teaching because every day is different,” Mrs Singleman said.

“Continuing to work has kept me young and open-minded.”

Mrs Singleman, who started her career at Bankstown West Public School in 1958, continues to teach at Liverpool TAFE three days a week.

She teaches English and writing to international adult students.

“I always say students teach the teachers a lot,” Mrs Singleman said.

“I haven’t been able to keep up with the changing technology.

“I do struggle on the computer but I can do the basics like send emails and use Microsoft Word.

“The students know more than I do. They teach me.”

The mother and grandmother, who will turn 80 years old in October, said she taught infants as her first teaching gig then moved to Warilla Public School in 1966 to teach primary-aged students.

“All the students in my class had international parents from Europe who came out to Wollongong to work at the Steelworks,” Mrs Singlemen said. “Boys of different nationalities used to fight all the time.

“So we would go outside to play football three times a day to get rid of all their testosterone.”

Mrs Singleman then taught children of military personnel at Holsworthy Army school before working as a relief teacher in the Liverpool and Bankstown districts.

When her husband retired, Mrs Singleman couldn’t sit and put her feet up all the time, so instead she started work at Liverpool TAFE. That was 17 years ago.

Mrs Singleman said she rarely had any children who were naughty or had behavioural issues.

“I was always well prepared and organised so the students knew what to expect,” she said.

“I never let them get away with much.

“I can only remember two students who were naughty.

“I remember one time, a little boy was screaming out and stamping his feet. So I did the same thing and he didn’t say another word.

“Teaching is about using different strategies to help each child.”

Mrs Singleman said she would probably put down her red pen for the last time next year.