In the Blink of a Eye by Rochelle Smith

21 05 2015

Dear Family, Friends and Followers of the Champions for Health Promoting Schools Program.

Today I write to you with a heavy heart, as it is my last day teaching at Five Islands Primary School. As a second year Champion I knew today would be hard, but I had forgotten how much it hurts to say Goodbye.

It feels like just yesterday was the first day of school. I walked into Five Islands, expecting none of the students to remember me from last year. To my surprise, I was greeted with smiling faces, and students telling me that they remembered me. I knew it was going to be a great month when students started to tell me what I taught them last May. I couldn’t believe how much the students remembered. The welcoming that I received on the first day was like returning home, it felt as if I had never left. With a blink of an eye I woke up this morning facing my last teaching day at Five Islands Primary School.

The day started with visiting preschoolers in the kindergarten class. We usually have 2 kindergarten physical education classes in the morning. However today we faced the challenge of a lifetime. One class filled with around 90 kindergarten students, plus at least 15 preschool students who will be attending Five Islands in the fall. That’s right, Teacher S. and Teacher Yolland taught roughly 100 students ages 6 and under, about teamwork. We acted like animals, laughed and had an awesome time playing. The rest of our day was filled with grade one classes and hanging out with the students. I couldn’t tell you how many high fives I gave and received throughout the day. The hardest part of the day was when a student asked me if we were coming back on Monday. I had to say no we weren’t and received the most disappointed face in the world. The only thing I could think to say was sorry. I honestly am sorry that the month is over. Although it has been difficult to say goodbye, I know my students will be fine without us. We have taught them as much as we could, and I wish them all the best.

I would like to thank the incredible teachers and staff of Five Islands Primary, who welcomed us with open arms and made Five Islands a home away from home. Thank you Principal Barriero for allowing us to learn and grow into better teachers, your school has provided an amazing teaching experience. Thank you Teacher Douglas (physical education specialist) for allowing us to take over your classes and for providing support and feedback. There are no words to describe how wonderful it has been to teach at Five Islands Primary. I would also like to thank my phenomenal teaching partners Karsen Yolland (Undergraduate), and Lindsey MacDonald (TEP) for pushing me to be the best teacher possible, as well as providing endless entertainment. Both of you have taught me more in the last month than I ever expected. The laughs we shared made the entire experience more enjoyable. Finally, I would like to thank the support of my family and friends at home. To my Mom, Sherry, thanks for making hundreds of bean bags for the program, they were well used in the past month. Thank you to all who donated, supported, and cheered on our Champions team throughout the past year.

I am still in denial about leaving, holding onto the hope that I will wake up tomorrow, with another week of teaching in front of me. Unfortunately this is not the case, tomorrow we will host our final unity games day at Adele and Five Islands Primary. At least I get to see my students one more time before the Champions Program is finished. However, it was still hard to tell our students that we will not be there on Monday.

Sincerely,
Rochelle Smith
Teacher at Five Islands Primary School


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