Angie Holmes – Teacher, Cricket Coach and Book Clubs

I first met Angie Holmes in 1980 when we both attended Chester College (now Chester University), a teacher training college.  We were both fresh-faced eighteen-year-olds trying to discover what we wanted to do.  Angie confirmed during her interview for Sue and Johnny – Everything and Anything, that she had wanted to be a teacher from when she was a toddler; her favourite game was taking the register for her dolls.  However, it must have been in the genes; her Mum was a teacher, and her son followed her into the profession. 

It’s all I ever wanted to do,’ says Angie, and adds, ‘I ended up at Chester College by default.’

 Originally, she wanted to become a French teacher and study in Exmouth, Devon, but a difficult interview held entirely in French and exam results that were not up to expectation made her change her course.  So, she decided on Chester and chose to study Geography and English. 

‘From the moment I started my placements in schools, I knew it was what I wanted to do,’ says Angie. 

            I never had the calling of Angie. I just wanted to play rugby, and in those days, being a PE student was as near a professional life as you could get.  An injury ended my flirtation with teaching and rugby.  But for Angie, graduation brought a succession of jobs, finally being the head of English for a school in Wolverhampton.  Listening to Angie, it’s obvious that her enthusiasm and motivation was infectious.  In each role in her career, she threw herself into every aspect of school life, including coaching football, cricket, and athletics. 

            ‘After the dream of the French went by the wayside, I was happy to study and teach Geography, but over time I began to focus on English.  I never much liked the critical analysis of a piece of work, but I loved the telling and reading of stories,’ says Angie.

            In the first instalment of our chat, she talks about her love of books, her favourite writers, and the book club she attends.  In the next instalment, she discusses her favourite books for children and offers some poignant observations of how teaching has changed since she graduated in 1984.

            But some things have not changed. She’s as engaging and social as ever, managing three Facebook pages: for her old primary school, her high school and Chester College, which has over 700 members.  It was a pleasure to see her smiling face over Zoom.  She hasn’t changed from those days when we propped up the college bar.