Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Climb

I've spent the last 7 years in the most amazing school. I started teaching at Elm Park School in the Juniors. Exactly where I didn't want to be when I was in Teachers College - I stayed teaching Year 1/2's for 3 years! Funny how sometimes the things you think you'll hate are the ones you love. I've learnt a million and 1 things through my time at my school.

I've been given endless opportunities and have had the chance to excel and develop my own style as a teacher. In the last 2 years my abilities and knowledge in e-Learning has been recognised with the chance to become an e-learning specialist and lead a team of talented ICT lead teachers. These first 7 years of my career have been a huge opportunity and I have loved every part. I have watched students grown and change - some have been in my classes for 4 years over the span of my teaching and have also watched me grow as a teacher. In the specialist role, having the chance to work with all the students across the school has been amazing... even made me want to go back to teaching Juniors... almost! :) But, balancing 2 jobs in 1 day for a confessed workaholic (thanks Mum and Dad for those genes!) is hard and my heart really is in the classroom making these things and more happen for my class, at the moment! So the decision was made that 2009 was the year to move onwards to new challenges - a new school and to return to the classroom fulltime!


The students I've had the privilege to teach in my 7 years has been immense... they are such cool kids at EPS. Every single one has taught me something about myself and the way I teach - they have made me the teacher I am today. At the Cultural Celebration evening many of our past pupils return - having them come up for chats and catch ups (or even just to show me how much taller than me they now are!) is mind boggling. Staying at 1 school for a while gives you the chance to see whole families grow and learn - it gives you links and roots that can never be shifted. My farewell assembly from the kids was overwhelming. I will NEVER forget the dance off with the boys... many laughs and many tears. I thank these kids for everything they have taught me and I dream big things for each and everyone I have taught.

I could never begin to thank the older people who have made me who I am today - without these people, I would be a different person. But I thank them and hope that they do truly realise what a difference they have made to me. I've had people around me that have seen the light in what I do and encouraged me and pushed me, when I didn't see it. People who love my crazy nature and tolerate it - if not celebrate it alongside me! It's these people that I'm finding the hardest to move from - that, for me, is a good thing. I have made friendships that will span a lifetime and these people are more than just colleagues. From my fellow e-Learning nerd - BJ, to my Auckland Mum to RC to KT who was the first massive influence for me at EPS to LA & GT who have been a lot of inspiration and support to LR, SR, LC, RV, AH, VA and CD who are all stunning teachers. These people are all massive influences because of the people they are and have been to me - I thank them for everything they know they have taught me and everything they don't know they've taught me.

As with all experiences there have been challenges. Ones I've known how to face and ones I haven't. Once again the people who have surrounded me have helped, encouraged and reminded me of who I am and where I am. It's been a hard climb in places but I have learnt a lot about myself and that is always a good thing. And as they say - Challenges are what makes us stronger.

My decision to leave has not been an easy one. But I think, I know, that the formula that I am heading off to is right. So for now, 1 mountain is moved and another awaits...

Image used under CC: Ryan Smith Photography

8 comments:

Moturoa said...

Best wishes for your new position.

It takes courage to move from where you know you are happy.

Good luck

Allanah

Pam Thompson said...

Good luck in your new school. You have expressed your feelings about leaving so articulately and eloquently. I left a school this time last year after having been there for 6 years, and my first "proper" position since uni. It was a wrench for exactly the reasons you've said here. However, I love my new school and feel that I've taken all that wonderful learning and growth with me.

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences at the new school.

Teaching Sagittarian said...

All the very, very best for the new challenges that await you. Any students will be fortunate to have such an enthusiastic, "whacky", and energetic teacher such as you!
Looking forward to reading all about your new classroom and continued learning journey!

Belinda said...

A wonderful, thoughtful post. It has been our privilege to work with you and you have made a huge difference in the lives of so many staff and students, myself included. And a word about going back to teaching junior students - at least we can find you in the classroom when we visit! We're gonna miss you big time but you are doing the right thing ...

NZWaikato said...

That post must have been very emotional to write and seven years is a long time at school. I spent six at the two schools I've worked out, having said that moving to a new environment can be hugely rewarding and the seeds that you have planted with the children that you have worked with at EP will be tools they will continue to build on. Your new school will be extremely fortunate to get you on board and you'll have a new work environment and pupils to enlighten and enrich.

Miss Signal said...

Thank you all for your comments. Yes, it is hard but I am excited about the new challenges ahead in a very different work environment! Lots of new things ahead and a great chance to keep growing as a classroom teacher. Amanda

Raenette Taljaard said...

I didn't have a chance to say goodbye in person, so this is it! You are a wonderfully talented, enthusiastic teacher, and I wish you all of the best. I've been working alongside you for three years now, and even though we didn't always share the same opinions or experiences, I've admired and respected your quirkiness! After seven years, the change will not be easy, but I'm confident that it will expand your ideas, lead to growth, and make you even more special! Go well, my friend, and remember: It's 'the Climb' that counts.

antsy-pants said...

Good luck with your new position, I will miss chatting to you at our ICT cluster days...and sharing your falafel! It is always a challenge to move away from what you know but I have found it has always been worth it. All the very best! Anthea

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