End of an era

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Today my eldest daughter has started her last week of school. I feel a bit like I blinked and suddenly she is all grown up.

I still remember the little blonde haired girl who cried and clung to me as I dropped her off to preschool, the same little girl who a few years later bravely started school in her little uniform and wide brimmed hat that seemed so large that she resembled a little mushroom. Fast forward a few years and she moved schools. I think back to the bribe of a new outfit and dinner in a fancy restaurant as a reward for her bravery to start afresh at a new school where she didn’t know anyone.

I think of the countless sporting carnivals, music recitals and awards ceremonies we have attended, proud of the effort she was putting in to her education.

I recall the ups and downs of her being a tween who lived through the dramas of friendship changes and issues that at the time that seemed insurmountable, which today she would be hard pressed to remember in any detail.

I think back to the day she was inconsolable over missing out on a place on the exchange program at school, although she had gone above and beyond to do all she could do to qualify. The flip side was the amazing trip she went on to China and the friendship she formed with a Spanish girl that she met over there that led to them doing a small private exchange. In hindsight, I think she actually was better off the way things worked out.

And now she is going through the routine of school for just one last week. It is going to be a huge week with muck up day, leaver’s ceremony and then the formal dance to finish off the week. Within a few months all her exams will be done and then she can focus on the path she chooses to start her life.

Although I’ve looked forward to this time, I also can’t believe it is already here. My little shy girl has grown into a confident lady and I’m so proud of the woman she is becoming.

I’m not sure where the years have gone, but as they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

Photo courtesy of stockimages, freedigitalphotos.net

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FIRST DAY

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This is one of my favourite days of the year. The first day back at school is the only day when my kids are dressed and completely ready to go to school by 7am. I’m not sure if it’s nerves or excitement that spurs them on, but I wish I could bottle whatever it is and feed it to them daily! /p>

A normal school day morning consists of my husband and I waking the kids (sometimes several times), giving them breakfast, making lunches and then as the time for the bus gets closer a frantic nagging begins. What starts out as gentle reminders to pack their bags, brush their teeth and make their beds turns into louder demands to get ready, followed by threats of what the consequences are for missing the bus. This is usually the time when I am handed a permission slip to sign (that was meant to be returned a week ago for an excursion the next day) or told that they are missing their hat or other item of compulsory uniform.

With frazzled nerves I bid them farewell as they run towards the bus stop with fingers crossed they haven’t left their dash too late. 

I take a deep breath and survey the debris they have removed from their bags and wait with baited breath, hoping that they don’t saunter back down the driveway begging for a lift to school as they have missed the bus.

So today I am relaxed and relieved to know that my kids are capable of getting ready for school on time. If only I had confidence that they could do this every morning!

 

 

(Photo courtesy of nuttakit, freedigitalphotos.net)

LAST DAY

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Today is my last day of freedom for eight weeks, as my children finish school for the year. Overnight I will transform into a taxi driver, entertainment co-ordinator and ATM.  

As the kids finish up their school year, I have been reflecting upon how much they have grown (physically and emotionally) over the year.  A great deal of this increased maturity can be attributed to the attention given to them from their teachers.

It takes a special type of person to be a schoolteacher as they take on the role of nurturing, guiding and educating kids. I help in the classroom on occasion and as much as I think it is really worthwhile, I also can’t wait until the allotted time is up and I am relinquished of my duty to oversee twenty enthusiastic (and some not so enthusiastic) children.

I think it is an amazing feat that the teacher can even be heard over the kids. I’m particularly in awe of the teacher’s simple clap of the hands that transforms the room into a quiet space where the children listen to her requests. Maybe I should have mastered the special clap to get my kids to listen to me at home, but perhaps that magic only works in a classroom.

Our school sends home not only a report at the end of the year, but a portfolio of the kids work as well.  The portfolio gives us a great insight into the changes in the style and quality of our kids work from the beginning of the year until the end. It’s lovely to have a keepsake to look back on as they grow up.

So today I would like to pay tribute to all the hard working teachers out there. Thank you for helping to educate the next generation and for entertaining them all year long. You deserve a well-earned break! As I take over the reins of amusing my kids all day, every day for the next eight weeks, I hope that all teachers have a relaxing holiday, so that they can return with vitality and vigour to fill our kids brains with wonderment and knowledge in the new year.