Yesterday was my final day at the school I'd been working at for 5 years. Throughout my time there, I taught, learnt, laughed and cried. My last day was a blur of packing and tidying so I didn't really have time to get sad about leaving. I have very fond memories of my time there, particularly of my time as a "mosaic apprentice".
My fabulous teaching partner, Tracey, is an incredibly talented person. She introduced me to the wonderful world of mosaic art and trained me to create amazing mosaics with the students. On Thursday we frantically grouted the last in a series of four mosaics we'd been working on for the whole year. Our theme was Fantasy Garden, and we had students from Kindergarten to Year 6 submit their designs.
These are the finished pieces, ready to be displayed in the school.
|The Snail (My favourite!)|
|and the Toadstool House.|
We used a variety of materials to create these: tiles, mirror, wishing stones, beads and dice. The students designed them, chose a lot of the colours, pieced the tiles in place, glued and some helped us with the hardest part: grouting!
My teaching partner also created smaller mosaics that are displayed in the brand new entrance foyer. During our Unit of Inquiry about our home city, she had the students in her Year 2 class design mosaics of landmarks around our city. If you live in Australia, you may recognise some of these places.
|Telstra Tower and the Hot-Air Balloon Festival|
|Balloons again and Parliament House|
|The War Memorial|
|Three of six mosaics on one side of the foyer|
|The other three mosaics on the opposite side|
Finally, here's last years' mammoth effort. It's 2 metres long and shows our students in the playground at our school. We used chains, mirror, forks, spoons, wishing stones, nuts and bolts, $2 coins, beads and of course lots and lots of tiles. Many students' designs are included in the final mosaic.
|Children at Play|
To say thank you and farewell to my colleagues in the Junior School, I made them a small notebook. Each teacher got a notebook made from a colour of the rainbow (plus pink). I'm hoping they will use them next year and remember me fondly.
It took some time to make these gifts, and there were quite a few mistakes made (even after 16 weeks of Bookbinding for Beginners) but I got there in the end. As the last one was finished the day before I gave them, there's no photo of the whole 'rainbow', but here's a peek at the ones I finished first.
|Some of the rainbow notebooks|
|Inside the front cover|
My lovely colleagues gave me gifts and cards, but my favourite is the one Tracey gave me. I am overwhelmed by the time and effort she must have put in to make such a special and gorgeous gift. It's perfect, because it's so me - even down to the different coloured eyes! I was wondering why she was gazing into my eyes constantly in the last weeks of school, she was just trying to get the eyes on the owl right.
So this is the end of an era, but it is also the beginning of others.
This is my first foray into the world of 'teacher blogging', spurred on by the amount of lesson ideas and inspiration I have taken from the Internet throughout this year. I'm hoping this will allow me to return the favour to all those talented and creative teachers I've been inspired by.
It is also the beginning of my time at a new school. I'm going to enjoy being much closer to home, and the challenges of teaching in a shared space. I am also looking forward to putting my mosaic apprenticeship into practise and creating beautiful artworks with my new students.