From a young age I knew that I wanted to work with children and I couldn’t wait to be a teacher when I grew up. Starting at OGPS was like a dream come true, the staff were all so lovely and I settled in really quickly. We all looked after each other and it was like a group of friends working together. I asked some of my colleagues to write a memory that they had of when we worked together which I wanted to share with you. – Alisha Malhotra
I miss the sound of your heels coming down the corridor in the morning shouting my name and singing a song. I’d pop my head out to say morning and you would always have a smile beaming from ear to ear; excited for the day ahead to nurture all the young minds. You were a fabulous teacher… you always went above and beyond at school; your ambition and positivity shone brightly daily. We had some amazing days and made some wonderful memories that I will cherish. You are one determined, positive and inspirational person.
Alisha was the first teacher I worked with at OGPS. She was unlucky enough to have a very difficult class and an unexperienced teaching assistant with her that year. We both had a difficult year then but we managed to get over it . Her teaching was amazing, myself and the children would admire her a lot . Competitive, ambitious she would ask me to work days for a display. I am sure she will be able to become again the fantastic teacher she used to be.
The first time I met you was when we both had our interview on the same day for Oliver Goldsmith. I was sat in the staff room, trying my best to revise for the interview. In you walk, flicking your hair, lots of perfume and laughing really loudly at something. I think I smiled at you and then went back to my notes. Next thing, I was bombarded with 4 hundred questions at once.
Whats your name?
How old are you?
Where do you work?
Where do you live?
How did your lesson go?
(All these questions were asked without you taking a breath) I tried to answer these questions politely but secretly I was thinking, I really need to get ready for my interview.
Then you turned around and said, ‘I’ve already been offered a job, a permanent contract, working at another school but I told them, they need to wait till I see how today goes.’ Then I got called out to do the lesson and you shouted out ‘good luck’ and I remember thinking ‘enough, go and accept that other job’ I was not your biggest fan at this stage. I love that we can laugh at this story together now. When I got to know you better, I realised what a caring, bubbly, generous girl you were. I am just so thrilled that I am lucky enough to have you as my friend.
I remember walking into your classroom every morning and being greeted with a wave and your beautiful smile. You were always sitting among the children and your class was such a happy one. You had a real talent for teaching and were so wonderful and patient with the children. I miss your smile.
I still remember meeting Alisha for the first time five years ago in the staffroom at OGPS on the first day of our new jobs there. Being the same age and with eerily similar interests, we hit it off straight away and before long she became my partner in crime around school. We were constantly mistaken for each other, and though I can’t speak for Alisha, I always took that as a massive compliment, after all she is passionate, warm and ridiculously beautiful inside and out!
Our first year at OGPS was the golden year, where Alisha made her mark in school as being not only an outstanding teacher but also as a passionate philanthropist. She was promoted fairly quickly and her drive and impact in school was a constant source of inspiration to me as her friend and colleague. She wanted to do it all, and was often seen bustling around school implementing new mental health schemes, running a healthy food and relax club, organizing charitable events and teaching not only children, but staff too on the importance of promoting a positive mind set in children: she instilled principles in everyone she has taught and worked alongside that will last a life time.
Outside of school she was my dancing partner and our friendship was built on a foundation of shared lunches (me mostly finishing her lunch) and love hearts (the sweets I’d buy and leave in her room to apologies for eating her lunch). We were into the same music, had the same love/hate relationship with fitness and loved to binge watch the same ridiculous films together. We would agree to disagree on things and had the same irritations and closeness that sisters would have. Suffice to say, when I walked into school and was told the news about Alisha I remember going into a quiet classroom and praying. I am not a religious person, but I knew that if anyone needed to live, thrive and be here to make that amazing difference- it was her. Her path to recovery is an absolute inspiration and I know it is an ongoing one. We all continue to marvel at her going from strength to strength, at the smile she puts on her face even when she doesn’t feel like doing so and the patience she has with all of us when life gets busy and our communication become delayed. We always pick it back up, and I am so grateful for that. I look forward to being there to make new memories and to witness all of the wonderful things I know Alisha will go on to achieve and has been achieving to date.
Observing Alisha teach an interview lesson for a job at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, sticks in my mind as one of my teaching highlights, and I’ve been teaching for a long time. She came into my Year 2 class like a whirlwind. She’d brought loads of resources to stimulate the children into writing about the Seaside. There were books, seaside accessories such as sunglasses, hats, buckets, spades, sand, you name it, and it was in my classroom. She’d even brought seaside music which was played in the background. To be honest, I wondered where the ice cream, cockles and mussels were! She had a calm, yet exciting way with the class. Unsurprisingly she was given the job and came to teach a Year One Class.
She brought energy, positivity and passion into the school. She strove to develop her own practice and was promoted quickly. Alisha adored her job and the children, parents and staff have much affection and respect for her. She was a highly valued member of staff. I have never met anyone as passionate about teaching. When Alisha suffered her stroke Oliver Goldsmith Primary School lost a highly valuable member of staff.
However, Alisha continues to shine, always puts a smile on her face, works so very hard to improve herself and now develop her own literacy and numeracy skills. I am sure that Alisha will continue to make her mark on the world, helping others in her unique way. She is someone I have been privileged to call a friend.
The first thing that struck me about Alisha when she started at Oliver Goldsmith Primary was her dedication and enthusiasm. I was constantly amazed by her love and energy for teaching.
Her focus was always her children and how to do the best by them and her children loved her for it. She was definitely a ‘favourite’ teacher and children counted themselves lucky to be in her class. When going into her class there was a regular addition of posters which were all over her walls. Anything and everything positive and motivating. Lots of colorful and bright messages just like her personality really. On any given day she would be singing, dancing and playing games with her class bringing a great element of fun into her classroom.
We worked really well together and developed a good friendship over time. We would regularly chat and laugh on the phone for ages after a working day about school and all manner of things. It was inspiring working alongside her, she reignited my passion for teaching and bought in fresh and new ideas to our team. Her energy and giving nature not only spread to her class but the staff. Always ready to give people a hug and literally bouncing into the staffroom! A bundle of energy.
Alisha is such an advocate for supporting causes. She headed charities at our school and had a knack for getting children excited about the cause and the staff signing up to help. Being a people person she would inspire others to support in whichever way they could.
Alisha is a perfectionist. I have always admired her dedication and focus to whatever she put her mind to. She has been such a lovely addition to my life and I’m glad we were able to become friends.
Full of energy, positivity and friendliness – that’s what I thought of Alisha after I met her for the first time.
Before I joined OGPS I was lucky enough to meet Alisha through a friend. I felt a sense of relief to be meeting someone who I knew would be starting at the same time. As I walked into the coffee shop, I remember thinking what would she be like? Would I get on with her? Within seconds, I felt a sense of warmth and knew Alisha was someone who I could see becoming a great friend and colleague.
I knew Alisha had arrived in school as soon as I heard relaxing music from her classroom. We would always have chats about the school day and I would always leave the conversation with a smile.
Alisha is full of inspiring ideas and whenever I walked in her class I could see her positivity and enthusiasm were reflected by the children. Alisha has an infectious smile and it is clear that the children feel happy with her. She always strives to do her best and works extremely hard to give the children the best opportunities to succeed. Alisha was quickly promoted and I remember saying that the role on promotion was a perfect match for her. She believed strongly in nurturing the children and encouraging a positive mindset which reminds us all how important this is in order to foster children’s well being.
Alisha is a great friend and colleague who has always been there for me. I feel so privileged to know someone who is so optimistic, inspiring and positive and look forward to sharing many more memories together.
Where do I begin? I remember Alisha when she worked at OGPS; her smile and positive attitude, her enthusiasm and inspiration, her warmth and passion for life and for the children she taught. We would walked towards each other in the corridor smiling, stop, give each other a hug and laugh. Our words were silent yet so much was said with each embrace.
Alisha loved teaching. She was and is into positive thinking and believed in not just developing children academically but also spiritually and emotionally. She believed in every child and every child mattered. Sadly as we returned to school on the 4th of January for a training day the staff were told of Alisha’s critical condition. I was filled with shock and sadness. There was a solemn atmosphere at school, all thoughts were with Alisha and her family. How could this happen to someone so young? There was a great fear that Alisha would not pull through but we knew that Alisha was a fighter with great inner strength.
Alisha had to re-learn how to do everything. She has made phenomenal progress. She is one determined young woman. I remember her excitement when we went to Golders Hill Park and saw the animals. There was always excitement in learning new words. There was a thirst for knowledge, a drive to learn and be the Alisha she used to be. She was determined to be back in the classroom teaching which was her life. There was frustration because she knew but somehow could not remember the names of things.
Alisha you have been inspirational and throughout your journey to recovery you have always aspired to help others. You have looked positively at all you have and through the charity have looked at those less fortunate. You have the love and support of family and friends which are a blessing. You do not give up but strife to achieve and have gratitude for all life has to offer. New and exciting things lie ahead for you because you are the type of person who will make things happen; one door closes and another door opens with different opportunities and experiences.
4 January 2016 was an inset day. I was so excited to go back to school. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and that morning I suffered from a stroke. I had never called in sick while being a teacher.
Thank you to everyone, all the staff and children for making my 3 years at OGPS so enjoyable. I will cherish all the memories I made, and the friendships will stay with me forever. I know this isn’t the end of my teaching career, there is lots ahead of me and I can’t wait to get back into the classroom doing what I love.