AFTER 43 years and teaching more than 1,000 children, Libby Burns has decided it's time for a rest.

Mrs Burns, 65, has spent the last 38 years at Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School in Lowry Hill, Carlisle.

She is retiring today.

She said: "I trained in Newcastle and got my first job at Brunswick School in Penrith. I left there after five years and came to Kingmoor where I've been ever since."

Mrs Burns, who currently teaches Year 1, has worked for four different headteachers.

"All of them have brought the school on to where it is today," she said.

"And I've worked with some really great people over the years. The staff are fantastic and I've taught some lovely children too."

She has spent all of her teaching life with younger children.

And she loves it.

She has taught the parents of some of her current children and can remember most people's names.

Mrs Burns said: "I remember most people. I recognise faces.

"I still get excited when I've been teaching the children something and they finally get it. It means you've done your job and they understand. That's a great feeling.

"These days the curriculum is very demanding. There is a pressure on teachers to get children to a certain level.We teach what the government tell us to teach.

"There are new initiatives all the time like table top maths and when you start doing it you wonder why we'd never done it before. I like to be creative with the curriculum and try new things as well.

"Parents want their children to be happy and safe in school. Teachers are in a privileged position because parents put their absolute trust in us.

"The school gets fantastic support from the local community and that is important," she said.

One of the biggest changes that Mrs Burns has seen is changes in family life.

She said: "When I first started teaching most of the mums didn't go out to work. That has all changed now and most mums now work."

Mrs Burns, who has a twin brother and four other siblings, has also helped train many teachers through Carlisle Schools Direct.

She said: "I mentor and train new teachers and I've enjoyed doing that a lot. Passing on my experience to them has been interesting and I hope they've enjoyed learning from me."

One thing Mrs Burns had to do before she leaves was to tidy out her store cupboard which had amassed 38 years of work.

"It was quite a task sorting it all out," she said laughing.

Mrs Burns has two sons and a daughter and five grandchildren.

She said: "One son and my daughter are teachers and my other son is a salesman."

She hopes to spend her retirement finding time for more of her hobbies including singing with the Cantonelle Ladies Choir.

And she'd like to walk the 17 remaining Wainwrights, to rejoin an art club and perhaps join a new choir - but mostly have a rest.

"I'll probably end up doing the school run picking up my grandchildren," she said.

Staff and pupils at Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School will say goodbye to Mrs Burns today.

A special assembly is planned.