2012 was a year of firsts for my Grade One colleagues and me. It was Lisa’s first year of class teaching, Monique’s first year teaching a boys’ class and the first time Bridgette and I would be teaching Grade 1 from the beginning of a year to the end. At our school boys and girls are taught separately in Grade 1 and Grade 2. Lisa and I had girls while Bridgette and Monique had the boys. And what an awesome year it turned out to be.
Bridgette is no longer in the classroom but still works at SVPS as a counsellor. I am the only one of us no longer on the staff and this year our 2012 Grade Ones finished their Primary School career. It was decided that all their Grade One teachers should say a few words at their valedictory. For us all to be there meant that I would have to drive 200 km from Struisbaai to Cape Town at a busy time of year! But when I received the invitation I was delighted and accepted without a second thought. Thanks Mr K for subsidising my fuel costs!
At award ceremonies at this amazing school each and every child is celebrated. The teachers pre-record a message mentioning each child by name and then as they come up onto the stage to shake the teacher’s hand and receive their certificates, his/her photo appears on the big screen and the message is broadcast for all to hear. It was awesome for us as Grade One teachers to see our ‘babies’ all grown up and hearing what their Grade Seven teachers had to say – All the potential we had seen in Grade One had been achieved!
My three Grade One colleagues and I had the honour of sharing our memories and a word of encouragement to send these fine young people on their way to High School.
I was also delighted to be asked to help hand out the special awards and trophies and how proud I was when several of my little girls were called up onto the stage. I was particularly moved when one of my special little girls who’d had an indomitable spirit in First Grade received the trophy for Persistent Commitment.
Congratulations to all The Grade Sevens and specially to the my 2012 girls. I am super proud of you all.
Thank you SVPS for having me. It was awesome!
In 2011 I started blogging about my return to teaching after a short break. All these posts were headed Back in the Classroom and appeared weekly until I retired at the end of 2014. I re-read some of these posts today and all those wonderful memories came flooding back. Parents and children reading this today might like to take a peek again.