Friday 4 December 2015

Three Cheers for our Teachers

Tully's Year Four Class at St Brendan's Catholic Primary School, Mackay. 
It's that time of year again—school is drawing to a close, students are counting down the days until the holidays, and a variety of memes featuring teachers in various states of relief are flooding my Facebook feed.

As my son's time in Year Four draws to a close, I have found myself contemplating the profession that I had always wanted to practice, but opted out of.

Do you remember being asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? For me, my reply was always teaching. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, but the teaching never happened. I know that while I am confident and happy teaching wasn't for me, I am also in awe at the wonderful professionals who run the gauntlet of little people every school day.

This year, more than any other, I have been exposed to instances where I have marvelled at the skill and care of our teachers. I am sure  Tully's teacher, Mrs Vella, has had to apply the patience of a saint on more than one occasion. But I am so grateful that her expectations have lifted my boy's commitment to learning. She, and all the teaches and staff at the brand new St Brendan’s Primary School, have provided him with a safe, vibrant and joyous environment where he has enjoyed every day—even Monday math.

Tully would never have conquered the math monster without the help of my neighbour, Mary, who is a retired school teacher. The hour Tully spends with Mary every week has miraculously lifted his confidence for the subject, and has improved his proficiency for the study of numbers. I stand in awe at her accomplishment.

Then there is my stepdaughter, who worked every night we were overseas through the last school holidays, as her students had an assignment due the first week back. Throughout her time off she was committed to helping them. 

This week, I had to smile at my mother's good friend who juggled boxes of donuts back from Brisbane for her class as a treat for their hard work and commitment to the subject she taught. What a bonus for her students!

These are just a few of the instances where I have been impressed with our teachers in the last year. I see the care, toil, commitment, and perseverance these people possess, and I know for sure that they are worth every cent we pay them.

As my son stood before the school assembly, reciting a poem he had written, I said a prayer of thanks for his team of educators who provided opportunities for him both inside and out of the classroom. They truly are a special group of people.

So three cheers for our teachers. I know I wouldn't be writing novels without the time you put in on me as a child. You do an amazing job, sometimes against all odds. We and our children need you. Thank you for your hard work—and enjoy these holidays. You’ve all earned them.

One final cheer for my niece, Nikki, who works tirelessly for her class every year. And my sister, Leonie, who home-schooled her three boys. Home-school Mums are astounding teachers because they teach 24/7. 
Tully and his teacher, Mrs. Carla Vella. 
One Christmas Eve
by Tully Dee

One Christmas Eve,
Jimmy had something up his sleeve,
To take the joy out of Christmas,
The fun, present and most of all the spirit.
One night Santa came down the chimney, of young Jimmy.
Jimmy heard Santa down the hall,
To the lounge room, that is all.
Then he heard a crash,
So then Jimmy made a dash,
And was suddenly in awe,
To see if Santa had brought him a PS4.

Jimmy was surprised,
of what he saw with his eyes.
A ginormous bag of coal,
That was larger than a foal,
So let this be a warning,
You should probably wait till morning.
To see Santa’s surprise,
Right before your eyes

Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel, Back to Resolution. Beyond Resolution and A New Resolution are the second and third books in the Resolution series.
Back to Resolution won the Bookseller’s Choice award at the 2012 CALEB Awards, while A New Resolution won the 2013 CALEB Prize for Fiction. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel, written in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian authors, and has recently released the standalone novel, Ehvah After.

Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.

Visit Rose at:


  1. A lovely tribute to teachers, Rose--of which I was one waaaaaay back! I remember how people used to sneer about the fact that we had all the school holidays off. Yet, as you point out, I often had a lot to prepare in those holidays or lots of marking to catch up on--plus I was exhausted!

    1. I can imagine! Dealing with all those little people would be exhausting. I think teachers need a medal. :-)

  2. What a lovely tribute to teachers, Rose! I taught for two decades and loved the job, but as you say, it is very tiring. I have lots of fabulous and funny memories and am very grateful for having been a teacher. I love Tully's poem too. Thanks for your lovely words :)


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