THE Mooloolah State School community recently farewelled five long-term staff members who are retiring after many years of committed service to both the school and the local community.
GC&M News caught up with Jenny Wilson who was involved in the school as a parent, before being employed as a teacher aide more than three decades ago.
How does it feel to be retiring after more than 30 years at the same school?
I find it hard to believe that it has been 30 years! I first became involved with the school well before my children started there, when the community were trying to get the old prep building to be used as the kindy. Thank goodness this didn’t happen as the kindy ended up with a lovely new building and the school is still using that old demountable that was moved to the new school temporarily 36 year ago. At the moment I feel excited and a little scared about retiring but look forward to doing some relaxing and trips in our caravan.
How has it been to both live and work in your community?
When we moved to Mooloolah over 40 years ago I didn’t know anyone, so through being involved first through playgroup and then the school I have met so many wonderful people. Then there are all the kids, who have made coming to school every day so much fun. I love walking down the street and you hear a little voice calling out “hello Mrs Wilson” or they’re waving at my car as I drive past. Mooloolah really is a very friendly town to live in.
What has it been like to have both your children and grandchildren go through the school?
I started work at the school the year my youngest daughter Kylee was in year 1 but had always helped in my son’s classrooms since they started. Over the years there have been quite a few members of staff have their children go through the school, though I don’t know of anyone else who has had their grandchildren too.
I really enjoyed being able to be so involved with all the kids through their primary school years, though I’m not so sure that the boys would agree when they were getting into trouble because there was no way they could hide this from me or their little sister!
It really was the perfect job when the kids were at school because I was able to work while they were at school and have the school holidays off with them. It really isn’t uncommon to have children of former students starting school, so when I say “I remember when your mum or dad went to school here” they look quite amazed.
What changes have you seen in 30 years?
So many changes. There seems to be a lot more pressure on teachers and students now. There seems to be a lot more assessments, though this is explained very clearly to even the very young students, exactly what they are doing and how to do well. I think when I first started the role of teacher aide it was very much to support the teacher in the classroom and while we still do this, most teacher aides now also have a more specialised role in the school and look after various programs or areas allocated to them.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone for the memories, lots of wonderful memories!