And so my last year of full time teaching has come to an end. I admit to having become just a tad emotional on a few occasions this week! But I live just two minutes from my school and they’re not getting rid of me that easily and even though Hubby and I have plans to seldom be at home, I am sure I will be popping in to help from time to time.
On Monday I had the honour of presenting the special awards to the Grade Threes at our Foundation Phase Awards Ceremony. What a thrill to see some of my past girls doing especially well.
The winner of The Speaker Reader Trophy is the grandson of a very special person in my life and I also knew his late father who was at school with my daughter. Muriel, he is just so very much like his daddy and you can be as proud of Noah as you were of your special boy, Reagon.
After this, one of my past Grade Ones presented me with a bouquet of flowers, a gift voucher and a gold medal inscribed with MASTER EDUCATOR! Well I guess if you’ve been teaching on and off for 4 decades you do deserve a medal 🙂
Our Awards Ceremonies are lovely. Each teacher pre-records a message and as her children come up onto the stage, it is broadcast over the sound system. I love listening to everybody’s speeches and it is specially good to hear what they have to say about the ones you’ve taught in the past or got to know at sport or just from seeing them around. Here are my precious class proudly standing on stage with their certificates.
My class were last to be presented with their awards and at the end of my voice-over I continued with a brief thank you. What a lovely response I had to that – thank you everybody. I have posted my voice over at the end of this blog.
The girls didn’t come to school on Tuesday as it was the turn of the Intermediate phase to have their awards ceremony. It was my pleasure to take care of a Grade 4 class while they waited excitedly to be called.
Today we ended the term with Teddy Bear’s Picnic! The girls arrived in a great state of excitement armed with their amazing bears and also some gifts for me! I said, “You are all very naughty. You’re not supposed to spoil your teacher.”
“Oh yes, we are!” they chorused back.
Thank you moms and dads. Your gifts, cards and letters wishing me well in my retirement are much appreciated. I am posting just a few of the many photographs kindly taken by Teacher Assistant Carol.
Earlier in the day I was banished from the classroom so that the girls could create something special for me – A Card – I suspect has been put into my pigeon hole and I shall collect it tomorrow, last day for the teachers. While I was in the staffroom waiting to be allowed back in – I smelled an amazing aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Can’t be, I thought, as our machine is not working – but there was Danielle carrying a tray for one towards me – “Ek wil iets nice vir Ms Fenwick doen – want ek sal jou miss!” Nice – Danielle – that’s the nicest thing you could ever have done to this coffee starved teacher at 9 in the morning! I am hugely touched!
And that is what is so special about my school. Everybody from the top down cares and will go the extra mile for a child or a colleague.
Thank you to all the parents of all the children I have taught, for your support as teacher assistants, transporters to outings, providers of cakes for cake sales and for helping with homework and supporting me in every way. It has been a pleasure and privilege to be part of your children’s lives.
Precious girls– This year has been very special for me. From Day 1 I have savoured every moment knowing that it would be my last as a class teacher. Thank you for making it a special one.
You have been a class of diverse little characters and you will each, along with all the other little girls I have taught at Sun Valley, for ever hold a special place in my heart.
- Jenna Cothill – Your persistence and positive risk taking has helped you overcome so much – well done my girl.
- Jenna Cumming. Your display of wonderment and awe at everything new is inspiring. Keep enjoying every fresh moment of your life.
- Montana – I will miss your quiet determination to succeed. Keep it up my clever girl.
- Zoe – You may be small but you are full of character and everybody’s favourite. You go girl.
- Olivia – clever, outgoing, spunky and full of fun – Hold on to that positive attitude.
- Caitlin – You ask good questions and insist I teach you till you understand. You’ve kept me on my toes.
- Amber G – beautiful girl well done for coming out tops. You are very special
- Rachel – my creative dreamer – you have amazed me with your progress.
- Feisty and determined Aphila – you have jumped hurdles and I am so proud of you.
- Little Sam – persisting and taking positive risks – Never give up.
- Tatum – so creative and full of energy – keep striving to do your best.
- Tahila my quietly confident angel, I will miss your beautiful work. You go girl.
- Precious Scarlet – full of inner strength – keep up the good work.
- Linet – you have a strong character which will take you far – I am super proud of you.
- Tenacious Tino – you have surpassed yourself – You have filled me with admiration.
- Sierra breezing in daily with a positive attitude – you rock.
- Leah – my deep thinking, smart girl – keep up the good work
- Shaqayeq – beautiful, exotic and quietly brilliant – you have impressed me.
- Mbali – my precious, feisty girl who has worked so very hard, you are an inspiration.
- Sienna – my flexible thinker, you do not miss a beat and if I do, you are quick to set me right. Keep it up my girl.
- Indyana – you think and communicate with clarity and precision while showing compassion for others – you are a very special girl.
- Jennissa – your batteries are constantly charged and you are always ready for action. You go girl.
- Sweet, talented Aniqah – keep reaching for your dreams – you have so much potential
- Cassie you seem so often to be in your own world but you always come up with the right answers – well done my angel.
- Gentle but determined Michaela – you have made strides this year. Keep it up special girl.
- Amber T – you have strived for accuracy and produced beautiful work. You have made me proud.
- Masintle my sweet, gentle girl, your calmness inspires sanity in me.
- Julia you have worked well and impressed me with your independent thinking – I will miss your shy smile.
- Faith what strides you have made this year. You blasted off slowly but at the end raced to the target. Well done sweet girl.
- Zjonte you bounce into class with zest every day – I will miss your enthusiasm and energy.
- Lucie – my creative, innovative and imaginative thinker – You have your own unique approach to your work – Keep on that path, girl.
And so girls, you have come to the end of your very first year of big school. Remember, if you dream it you can do it. YOU ARE FABULOUS. GIRL POWER TO YOU ALL.
And this is where I’m meant to stop but as this is my last Awards Ceremony I would like to take this opportunity to express my farewells. It has been my privilege to have had an 11 year association with Sun Valley School. First it was in the capacity of room parent, class rep and/or supply teacher. In 2011 I came for four months but stayed for almost four years!
I have had a chequered career in education for 4 decades and loved every minute and I am privileged to go out on a high note from this amazing school.
My colleagues in every grade have been awesome but the bond I have with my Grade colleagues now is beyond amazing. Lisa, you were there quietly supporting me as a gap when I arrived in 2011 and you’ve been an inspiring colleague. I really do want to be like you when I grow up. Bridgette you totally get me and help me keep my sense of humour, I will miss your wonderful laugh. Monique thank you for being my memory and relentlessly driving me to get things done weeks before deadline. Somehow you failed to see my advancing years and kept me young.
You guys rock and I can see that I will be drawn back to assist in the Grade One passage between trips across the planet.
Thank you to my amazing boss, Gavin for having me crew on this ship of exploration into the world of innovative education. The journey has been exciting, stimulating and adventurous. It has been the best trip of my life.
To everybody at the Sun Valley Group – children, parents, Estate staff, Admin, Exco and teaching staff. What a privilege it has been to be on this A team. I will miss you all. Farewell but not Goodbye