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News > Catch up : Concord Staff > Mr Godbold is retiring

Mr Godbold is retiring

Former City trader turned Economics teacher, Rob Godbold, is retiring after 15 years at Concord. We caught up with him to reminisce and find out more about his plans for life after Concord.
Mr Godbold in the Concord staffroom
Mr Godbold in the Concord staffroom

Q) You've been at Concord for almost 15 years, have you always been a teacher?

Before becoming a teacher I was a City Trader - I was like the guy you see in films like 'Wall Street' with two phones shouting at people! I had joined the City in 1983 after 'The Big Bang' - the day when the City of London was deregulated and it effectively became the financial capital of the world. Because of its success, jobs became available to a much wider variety of people from different backgrounds - including me. Although it was a stressful job, the pay was good and by the time I was 41, I was able to take early retirement in Spain.

I remember sitting by the pool there in 2008 when I heard Lehman Brothers had collapsed. I realised there would be a huge financial crash and I would have to go back to work! That's when I decided to go into teaching.

This isn't my first teaching job, I started off teaching Business Studies in Spain before coming back to the UK to do a PGCE qualification and working at The Grange and Meole Brace schools in Shrewsbury before joining Concord.


Q) We now know you as an Economics teacher, what other roles have you had since you started here?

Me and my wife, Debbie, lived in College for 6 years. I was a house parent and she was a pastoral assistant. I was jointly responsible, with Mr Patey, for looking after the younger students who lived at the top of Main Hall. I remember Mr Patey was a top man on Pizza Night when College would treat us to a termly staff pizza. He was a very keen mathematician and I sometimes used to say 'do you want the bigger half?' and while he explained in some detail why you couldn't have a 'bigger half', I managed to help myself to an extra slice!

Room check on a Saturday night used to take ages, I would often still be going round at 1.30am. There was one room in Burnell next to the Post Office that I could never seem to find. 

Alumni might remember registration every Saturday morning in Main Hall where 300 students used to have to queue up. I was responsible for setting up all the tables and chairs.


Q) Did you go on any College trips?

I used to go to Standon Bowers outdoor education centre with the 6.1s every year. Mr Wilson ran it and paid a lot of attention to planning a schedule and sticking to it. When he left on Sundays I was put in charge and had a more 'laissez faire' approach, but the students didn't like that as much as I expected, and much preferred being told what to do.

Joining in with extra curricular activities is a great way to get to know students better, which in turn can improve our teaching as we understand what makes them tick.


Q) Can you share any fun memories with us?

I've got lots of entertaining memories...including the time a student was painting t-shirts with blue gloss paint, not realising you can't wash it off with water. She was covered in it, and it spread everywhere including the paving stones.

I used to enjoy staff v. Sixth Form football matches until they were stopped to comply with health and safety legislation. I played at the back with Dr Pugh and Mr Hawkins, we had a lot of fun and remember Mr Willets and Mr Phoebe were the best players on our side.

Student numbers were a lot lower when I first joined so I was amazed at the high standard of the musical theatre performances. Les Mis stands out as one of the best. There were quiet maths and physics students, who I hadn't even seen at College before, with unexpected hidden musical talents. 

Students used to run an annual International Food Festival to showcase the foods from their home countries. I would drive them to Wellington (the nearest town with a South East Asian supermarket) and on to Asda so they could stock up on the ingredients. The whole event must have been a nightmare for Mr Kerslake as the students had little training in food hygiene - but it was hugely enjoyable, and as far as I am aware, noone ever became ill.

Q) What are your plans for retirement?

I plan to spend some time back at our house in Spain (where that life-changing moment happened in 2008!) and work on the garden. We have 3 acres so it's a big job as there are lots of brambles as well as old orange trees to clear. 





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