When Kathleen Prudence lists the schools in NSW where she has worked it sounds like a road trip that begun in 1967 in the Central West town of Manildra, and continues today at Singleton, where she is the high school's head maths teacher.
It is a career of more than five decades, where she has always worked fulltime and continues to do so at the age of 75.
Asked why she still teaches she laughs and says I don't know when to stop before quickly adding my job has never been a chore and I still love teaching children no matter the challenges.
"It is a privilege to be involved in their lives, during those formative teenage years, from when they arrive as lively kids in Year 7 bouncing all over the place, until they finish high school, as young adults," she said.
"I have always been a teacher and to be a teacher you have to like kids - thats my advice to anyone thinking about teaching as a career."
Ms Prudence's dedication to teaching in public schools was recognised at the inaugural NSW Department of Education Service Recognition Dinner held in Sydney last week.
The awards night shined a light on some of the most committed and hard-working public educators in the state, recognised for 50 years' service with the Department.
For someone who began her career at the same time as the High School Certificate began, like her in 1967, Ms Prudence has seen significant changes in education during those years with new curriculums and technology and a variety of new and constantly updated teaching methods to learn and adopt to the classroom.
However, one thing never changed during her career a desire to achieve the best educational outcomes for her students.
The students might think of of her as a grandmother but she certainly has all the skills to gain a classroom's attention when required.
"It takes a longtime to develop teaching wisdom and skills, you cannot beat experience, as experience makes you less judgemental, and that is a very good thing to be as a teacher," she said.
Ms Prudence describes herself as a country person at heart being raised on dairyfarms on the North Coast and starting her school life at Dorrigo.
She finished high school at 16 and headed straight to teachers college at Armidale.
At age 18 her teaching career began at Manildra Central School. She taught in Mullumbimby and Quirindi before taking up positions in the Hunter at Cardiff and West Wallsend from 1979.
From 2001 to 2006 she worked at the Board of Studies as a liaison officer, and in 2006 received a NSW Premier's Teacher Scholarship to study Realistic Mathematics Education in the UK.
She arrived in Singleton in 2005 as a relief head maths teacher as Graham O'Brien, the then head teacher, was on leave. On his retirement Ms Prudence became the permanent head teacher a position she still holds today.
"I love working in country schools, the kids at those schools tell it how it is, and I guess my own background means I am happy working in those schools," she said.
I love working in country schools, the kids at those schools tell it how it is- Kathleen Prudence
"But I did enjoy my time with the Board of Studies, covering a region from Penrith at the foot of the Blue Mountains and heading west all the way to Broken Hill, and working across both public and private schools, home schooling and learning so much about the entire state curriculum."
Having risen to head teacher why not apply for more senior executive positions at the schools? Ms Prudence's response was her preference was to always remain a classroom teacher.
"It never interested me climbing further up the career ladder and becoming say a deputy principal as I simply wanted to teach the students," she said.
"Looking back now teaching at all these schools across the state, that was my career challenge.
"Speaking to other teachers at the dinner with similar lengths of service, a number remained at one school for many years, and others only taught in one suburb or nearby suburb in metropolitan areas.
"So I am lucky to have had the opportunity to teach at such a diverse range of schools. And that fact has probably also influenced my longevity as a teacher."
As to teaching methods, particularly in maths given that subject's challenges in high school, she compared the subject to learning to drive.
"You can learn to drive a car without knowing how the engine actually works, so that is how I like to teach maths by the students learning the process," she said.
Commenting on the longevity of her of career at a time when attracting and keeping teachers in the profession is proving somewhat difficult she said if you really like children and can make them the centre of your world then teaching is never a chore, challenging yes but not a chore.
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