Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Allan Giles 1956-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Allan Giles 1956-2012: News

Article excerpt

Allan Giles was kind, creative and meticulous. He was always willing to help struggling pupils and he spent hours making sure his own work was as near perfect as possible.

Mr Giles, a technology teacher, had himself experienced difficulty with lessons as a child. He tried for years to prove he could outperform the expectations of his own teachers.

He was born and brought up in Baildon, near Shipley in West Yorkshire, with his younger brother, Keith. His father was an engineer and his mother worked as a doctor's receptionist.

The young Allan was gifted with his hands, but struggled to overcome his dyslexia. His primary school teachers criticised him - unconstructively, he felt - and because of this he wanted to prove himself academically. He would spend hours painstakingly memorising the spellings of words.

He had a better experience at his secondary school, Beckfoot in Bingley. He was able to study woodwork and metalwork, and he made many friends. But, even so, teachers told him he was not clever enough to be an architect, his dream career. So he chose teaching, because he thought he would love working with children and helping them to develop core skills.

Indeed, his quest to prove his teachers wrong about his academic abilities continued throughout his adult life: achieving his MA in education from the University of Leeds in 1990 was a personal triumph.

As a pupil at Beckfoot, Allan sat next to a girl named Pauline in maths lessons. The pair were firm friends for many years before embarking on a romantic relationship, although Pauline later recalled that she immediately thought Allan was handsome. …

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