Mr W E Glover (1957-1965) Former Teacher
The Club has been informed of the death of Mr W E Glover, former Chemistry teacher. Mr Glover played a big part of School life, Junior Colts Rugby team coach and the 2nd Cricket XI team.

Memories from Howard Davies OH

I was sorry to learn too about the death of Mr. W E (Bill) Glover. Thank you for including him in the obituaries and for seeking out a reference to him from The Herefordian of October 1965. I doubt whether anyone currently at the school can remember him, but those of us who were fortunate enough to have known him as students would attest to the fact that the extract, whilst factually accurate, fails completely to do justice to an exceptional teacher.

When I was training to be an Ofsted inspector in the 1990s an HMI asked us "What is the difference between an average teacher and a very good teacher?" We each had our definitions, but he told us "The average teacher engages 75 to 80% of his/her pupils in any lesson so that they can learn effectively. The very good teacher also engages 75 to 80% of his/her pupils in every lesson. The difference is that the very good teacher engages a different 75 to 80% in every lesson". It seemed to me that this applied perfectly to Mr. Glover. But he was not just "very good", he was exceptional. What was special about "Bill" Glover was that, in a staff of largely well qualified but distinctly average teachers (and some, in my judgement were barely that!) he never gave up on any student. Perhaps his greatest talent was in encouraging, motivating and inspiring his students so that they could do better than they ever thought they could. He did this with a wonderful dry sense of humour. Mr. Glover undoubtedly earned the respect of every student in the school. This was equally as true on the sports field as in the classroom. Mr. Glover was one of the very tiny number of brilliant teachers I encountered as a student, a teacher, adviser and inspector. He had the capacity to changed his students' lives for the better and for that many, including me, will be for ever in his debt.

I was in one of Mr. Glover's Junior Colts rugby teams. I had arrived at Hereford Cathedral School as a Chorister in January 1961. I was, in fact, a Year 6 pupil, but the Cathedral Choir needed an extra voice. I had succeeded in the choir auditions as a nine-year-old and had performed well enough in the Common Entrance Examination to suggest that I would cope. After all, I was seen as one of the more able pupils in the Grammar School Stream of my primary school. But I found myself falling headlong into an alien world. The demands made of choristers were substantially greater than those of today and the regime for a ten-year-old was punishing. At school I was somehow expected with little or no support from staff or my parents to catch up on a term of Latin, French, Chemistry, Physics and countless other subjects of which I had no experience whatsoever. Unsurprisingly I sank like a stone. On top of all this I was a small and weak-looking boy - I had been born a foetus-in foetu baby, spending much of my early life in intensive care in hospital, and the rigours of life and more than an hour-a-day walking to and from school made life even harder for me. As a consequence I struggled and was written off by almost every teacher as worthless and a ne'r-do-well. It was true that I did excel in the choir where I became the soloist chosen most often and by the age of just twelve became Head Chorister. I paint this picture for one reason only and that is to explain how Mr. Glover impacted on my life chances.

In Games my appearance was such that I was the boy who was picked last when teams were chosen by the boys. In rugby I was placed in the group of those who found moving or seeing particularly challenging. When playing, though, I was quick and fearless and so was promoted from the lowest group to a higher group for rugby. Mr. Glover's Junior Colts needed a practice game before a match with another school and I was selected for the team that was to be fodder for the Junior Colts. At the end of the practice match Mr. Glover called me over and told me that I had real potential and next week I would be playing in his team. I had to gain permission to miss Saturday choir practice and evensong and much to my dismay Dr. Cook (Master of Choristers) refused to give it. When I reported this to Mr. Glover, he smiled and said "We'll see" and promptly marched off to speak with Dr. Cook. Within five minutes he reappeared, smiled again and said "You're playing!". Thereafter I remained in the team. "Bill" Glover may not have been a great technical coach but he was inspirational and he gave every one of us the confidence and motivation to succeed. Looking back on it I feel that I wasn't just sinking, I was drowning at HCS. I was about to sink for the final time when Mr. Glover threw me a lifeline and with it rescued me. Despite continuing to struggle at school I became much more resilient. Eventually, although I sometimes had to rely on teaching myself because some teachers had simply given up on me, I did succeed academically reading for a B. Phil. and then an M.Ed. In sport I went on to represent school teams in cross-country, athletics, cricket and rugby. I was awarded County Trials in cricket and rugby and represented Herefordshire in athletics. I was awarded County Colours in Athletics in 1969. As an athlete I won 19 County Championships in five different events, two Midlands titles, represented Southern Counties and South-West Counties in National Championships reaching finals at 200 metres and 400 metres and competed for the AAA at international level. As a teacher I taught in five schools and was a substantive Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher before becoming and adviser and inspector in three Local Authorities and, of course, an Ofsted inspector. Without the impact of Mr. Glover's interventions I wonder what if anything I might have achieved.

I learned from Mr. W E Glover to recognize and seek out talent, even in the most unexpected places. I learned about nurturing that talent through encouragement, motivation and support (and maybe a little inspiration too). I learned from him never to give up on anyone who was prepared to work for success. In that way I have been able to pay forward to others what he did for me, although he never knew it. I suspect that there will be others who will echo my sentiments: Mr. W E Glover was a truly exceptional teacher and those whose lives he touched will never forget him.

Howard Davies
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