Thank you: My ode to teachers.
The end of an era.
It’s the last day of term at schools across Nottingham. However, for Emily’s school it’s also the end of an era as they bid farewell to a much-loved teacher, Mr. OJ.
For Mr. OJ, this school is as much a part of him as he is of the school. It’s in his blood and I know it will be an emotional moment when he switches off the lights in his classroom and bids his final farewells. You see, Mr. OJ was a pupil at the school. Later he returned as a trainee teacher, before becoming a full-time member of the teaching staff eight years ago.
Our school’s loss is very much another school’s gain.
Emily loves Mr. OJ. The news of his impending departure hit her hard. Most children look forward to the end of term, but she’s been dreading this day all week. She knew it would be a very sad day and told me yesterday she’ll probably be able to fill ten cookie jars with her tears…I think I might need some of those cookie jars myself because I’ll miss Mr. OJ too.
I wish I’d had a teacher like Mr. OJ when I was Emily’s age. If you’d asked me back then to imagine my perfect teacher, I would imagine someone just like him.
Mr. OJ is the ‘Bouncy Bouncy Tigger’ of the teaching world (or any world, to be honest). His enthusiasm and zest for life is infectious, his energy boundless. He always seems so cheerful and optimistic, (although I think even he will find it hard to be cheerful today as he says his goodbyes).
A fitting tribute.
To mark Mr. OJ’s last day at the school, the pupils hatched a plan to give him a fitting send-off. In a top secret operation, they asked everyone (including teachers) to dress up in outfits to show all the things Mr. OJ loves and is passionate about. How lovely to turn up to school today to see superheroes, footballers and Star Wars characters swarming through the gates, not to mention the headmaster dressing up as a superhero too.
If Mr. OJ didn’t already know it, the sea of costume-clad children and teachers that greeted him, (as he walked into the playground to collect his class for the last time), bore testimony to just how much he means to everyone.
Emily donned her Star Wars Rey costume once again as a tribute to him. She may have been all smiles this morning, but I’ve no doubt it will be a different story when I pick her up at 3.30pm. By that time, it will be beginning to sink in that her beloved teacher will be teaching different pupils at another school next term. I’ll expect I will need to get the cookie jars ready.
You see, Emily and Mr. OJ are fellow geeks. They share a passion for superheroes, comics and Star Wars. She loves chatting to him about superhero movies she’s seen and comics she’s read.
Not all superheroes wear capes.
Not all superheroes are able to shoot laser beams from their eyes or lift a car with their little finger. Some superheroes have powers that are more subtle, but just as awesome. Mr. OJ’s superpowers are his infectious joy, his enthusiasm and his passion for teaching. He really cares for the children he teaches and encourages them in their endeavours, big and small. And, like many of the other teachers at Emily’s school, he instills confidence in the kids, providing them with a safe and supportive environment where their individual personalities and strengths are nurtured and developed. How blessed our children are to have such a lovely school environment.
Goodbye and thank you.
So, it’s the end of an era.
A bittersweet day.
Emily will miss you, Mr. OJ, but I know she’ll never forget you, your passion or your kindness.
Here’s my thank you to you and all the amazing teachers, (Like my secondary school biology teacher Mrs. G, who came to my wedding and is my Facebook friend still), who leave a legacy long after the final bell:
An ode to teachers
Another school year’s come and gone and soon you will be free
To rest your pen, your teacher’s voice, you’ve time to simply ‘be.’
Sometimes, you wonder how you even made it through the year,
You had it sussed, you’d planned your term, then brand new rules appeared.
But please don’t be discouraged and please don’t ever quit,
Thirty hearts and minds you’ve shaped, and that’s not all, I’ll bet.
There’ll be some who’ve been shown kindness when there’s not much shown at home.
There’ll be those you’ve helped to reach their goals and spurred them on to more.
To some you’ll be a hero, making learning so much fun,
They never thought they’d grasp those bits but you showed them how it’s done.
So when you wonder why you give so much to such a calling
Be assured you’ve given wings to children’s dreams with all that learning.
When times are tough, when politics can drive you to despair
Remember all the good you’ve done, the passion that you’ve shared.
League tables may not always show the time you have invested
But dwell instead on other ways your work can be attested.
Like thinking of the kids who’ll say you really are the best,
Despite when homework time comes round or you’re handing out a test.
And as you close the classroom door on one more year that’s passed,
You’ve taught, you’ve cared, you’ve nurtured, made impressions that will last
Far beyond their years of learning, as they strike out on their own
‘Til they’re walking their own children down the path towards a school.
Over to you.
Whether you are a teacher or whether you remember those teachers who’ve made a lasting impression on you, I’d love to hear from you.
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