My friend and Colleague whom I have known since High School retired on Friday. She has been at my school for almost 30 years and been in Education for 40. It’s a long time to invest in the youth of your community. She taught my grandson in both Grade 4 and 5. For both those years I had the privilege of being her room parent and relieved her for a few months in the classroom when she had surgery that required some recuperation time.
I knew I had to come prepared with plenty of tissues because she was going to have one amazing send off. But I did not anticipate that it would start first thing on Friday morning when, while sipping my obligatory caffeine fix, she came into the staff room, sat down to chat and we both had a little weep! A younger colleague was with us too and she just hugged her mentor.
Before the whole school assembled for the farewell ceremony our little Grade Ones had to do their assembly – “I am Special”. We’ve been practising for weeks and they did their teachers proud! I did not get a chance to take photographs but I know a lot of our parents were there. There is just one little story I’d like to share. A shy little girl in my class had to say a special line – My name is …….. and I speak Persian. I tried to coax her to speak her line loudly and clearly but during practice she was the quietest of all. On Friday, as instructed, she came dressed in an outfit a typical Iranian child would wear. We made a huge fuss about how pretty she looked. Her beautiful outfit must have given her confidence because when it came to her turn to speak she uttered her lines as clearly as a bell!
After our little ones performed superbly in their Assembly we had a brief time to regroup while the intermediate phase came to join us in the hall. As “Little old Lady of Pasadena” rang out, Miss C was ushered through a guard of honour with two fairies in attendance. She then sat upon a throne and was later presented with her wings so she could fly to wonderful far flung places in this next season of her life.
Both the Junior and Senior Choirs sang for her and it was all I could do to stop the tears from flowing even though I’d heard my girls practising the songs for weeks in advance. Two teachers also sang the powerful song, “You raise me up” which was my late mother’s favourite song so it was double reason to have me in floods of tears! And they sang it so very beautifully!
There was a farewell tea later in the staffroom and tributes were paid to a teacher who is truly a legend in this valley. I was undone specially by what a number of they younger staff members said. She has been an amazing mentor and they all aspire to being just like her – a caring teacher, a wise teacher, a fun teacher and a very human teacher who has given her all to this profession and has absolutely no regrets for doing it!
Marilyn – I know our paths will cross many more times. Thank you for what you have meant to me so far in my life and to Jay in his. In his words – You’re the best!