Teacher bids adieu

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

A Balclutha primary school teacher is leaving her school of 28 years on a high note following her final musical production.

Rosebank School assistant principal Pam Fairley has spent almost three decades teaching Balclutha children in the classroom and on the stage.

“It’s bittersweet. I’ll definitely miss it, but it’s time for someone else to step up and take over from me.

She has been around long enough to have taught the parents of her current pupils.

“It’s always really nice when I get to catch up with the old students who are all grown up now,” Mrs Fairley said.

“And it’s a nice feeling to have them entrust their own children to my care.”

More recent ex-pupils, now at high school and tertiary level, had returned to help with this final production.

“Some of them have come back to do the painting. It’s really nice.

“They see the young kids and are amazed at how loud and excitable they are. I tell them ‘you were like that once.'”

She said ex-pupils were also surprised to see the little blue monkey toy that had been at the school for as long Mrs Fairley herself.

“I give it out to good pupils to take home for the evening. They have to bring it back though, otherwise there will be arguments.”

The final production was called Flying High, performed by the junior pupils.

The plot followed three young caterpillars who desperately wanted to fly.

They sought the counsel of the other animals who told them to be patient and soon they would become butterflies and begin their next journey.

The next step in Mrs Fairley’s journey was to take a position at Totara Grove School in Whangarei.

She was nervous about the transition, having to leave behind the community in which she had forged so many ties.

“A school is so much a part of the community. I know the people who come and do the lights for the productions and other things.

“I know people well enough so I can call on them and they always step up.

“That won’t be the same when I go to Whangarei. I won’t know anyone.”

But she said she was “looking forward to the warm weather.”

Mrs Fairley is having an official farewell at the school on Wednesday December 12, at 3pm.