Back in the Classroom – Ending the year with a Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Wow – what a year!   I have always loved my job.  I know there are some people who drag themselves to work every morning but I always wake up quite happy that I am going to have a day that will be different to the one before.  I may sometimes get frustrated, tear my hear out when I don’t get the response I want from certain children, cry tears and sweat blood to get through the work that needs to be done – but I still love every minute and wouldn’t change what I do for anything.   I have taught all the grades from pre-school to grade 7, either full time or in a temporary capacity.  When people ask – “What is your favourite grade?’ I always reply with – the one that I’m in.

I am in Grade 1 now and it’s awesome.   And it has really been one of the best years of my long and chequered career.  I have had an amazing group of little girls and the most wonderful parental support.

On Wednesday morning, I celebrated each of my little ones at our Awards Ceremony. Before the certificates were presented we had a few musical items. I being the sentimental old teacher that I am had tears in my eyes when the only two Grade 1 musicians were from my class.  When my pianist played “The Russian Dance” I nudged my colleagues and said, “She’s one of mine!”  And boy did she play beautifully.   I did the same when my violinist was in the centre of her trio playing “Twinkle Twinkle”  She looked straight at me when she came down from the stage and I just wanted to jump up and hug her in front of all those people but had to contain myself with a thumbs up.

After the principal’s wonderful speech on Irresistible Schooling for 2013 it was time for the Grade 1 teachers to go up onto the stage to present the certificates to their classes. I was so proud of their beautiful behaviour as they filed onto the stage, shook my hand and stood proudly in neat rows on the benches displaying their certificates for all to see.  Each child in our school is celebrated and receives a pack of at least 2 certificates highlighting their special achievements.   The high achievers are singled out briefly for academic achievement, academic progress, neatness and emotional intelligence.  These children each receive a badge as well as their certificates.

Because today was our last day of the year we celebrated in a different way – We had a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

Paddington Bear is an old friend of my daughter who followed me an many occasions to the various schools at which I’ve taught.   Today was no exception.

But before we started I was presented with a myriad of gifts and had to open every one before we could start our party.  I was spoilt with Christmas cakes and chocolates, beautiful jewellery, shower gels, perfumes and creams, a plant in a cute little pot guarded by a Christmas clad animal and a lovely wild life calendar.   The cards were full of precious little messages and the opening of them caused great excitement and joy.

The girls were supposed to bring just one little treat each but some kind moms sent delicious eats to share too.  So off to the Lapas in the quad we went with blankets and teddies and what a fun time we had.  (Thanks Aunty Carol (my neighbour and volunteer rooom mom although she has no kids at the school) for running home for my memory card which I foolishly forgot to put back in the camera after downloading pics to the computer!

Not only did it look stunning - it was delicious too.

Not only did it look stunning – it was delicious too.

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Carol cutting and serving the delicious chocolate cake

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Come join us on the jungle gym

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Don’t even think of separating us from our bears

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A teddy bears’ picnic is fun with Paddington

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Paddington – please come and play – I’m lonely

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Aren’t our bears just the best! And they just loved the party!

010 Paddington and friends eating pop cakes

Sorry Paddington – no marmalade sandwiches – Have a Pop Cake

011 Having a good time with our bears and friends

Hey Paddington – Isn’t this a fun party!

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And a lovely time was had by all

The classroom was not a great place to be today as it was being prepared for a fresh coat of paint and  everything was off the walls and stacked where space could be found.   So we played for ages before finally going back to clean up and pack up.

I gathered all the girls on the mat and just for ‘ou-laas’, we rapped the alphabet.  When we got to zed zed zed, I said, “and that is the end of the alphabet and the end of your Grade 1 year!   A couple of the room moms had just walked in and one said, Please may we interrupt – we have a surprise for you.

I couldn’t imagine what it could be as I’d already opened so many little gifts.   She presented me with a box. I dipped inside and found a some Ferrero Rocher chocolates, a very generous gift voucher for our local mall and the dearest little wire bound book. On the cover was 1F 2012 – Inside on the first page a photo of me and then each child had a page with their photograph and a message and drawing done by themselves. There were also pages of photographs of the class events of 2012. How these two moms managed to get this all done without my knowledge I have no idea. Grade 1 girls are not good at keeping secrets – but they kept this one!  Well it was hard to keep the tears in check.   My girls were already emotional but seeing the teacher teary really set them off – so we parted with many hugs and I love yous and I’m going to miss you and I don’t want to go to Grade 2!

I have never been given such a lovely farewell gift from a class before.  It has been a very special year and I feel so rewarded.
Thank you to all my special little princesses – and a very big thank you to your wonderfully supportive parents.
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