Grateful Tuesday: Mrs McFetridge

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I am standing on the left side just in front of Mrs McFetridge 

To all of my old classmates featured in this photo, apologies if this is embarrassing!  If it makes you feel any better I do appear to be rocking big 80s hair.

The reason for showing this photo is that I wanted to make a point of publicly thanking my standard 1 teacher, Mrs McFetridge. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I was extremely shy and timid as a 7 year old, but had a quiet love of learning.  At that age I was fascinated with reading, writing, drawing and story-telling and loved nothing better than putting pen to paper.

My recollection of Mrs McFetridge was that she had a kind voice and spoke to us in a warm, affirming manner.  She actively encouraged participation and readily gave us certificates to recognise our achievements in the classroom.  I was fortunate to receive numerous certificates and remember feeling so proud of myself.  Even better, I got to share these with my family.

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A few of my certificates.  Yup, I’ve kept all of them to this day.  

When I reflect on this, I realise she was highly effective in using a strengths-based approach to affirm our talents and in making sure these were celebrated.  For a child who felt painfully shy, this was a boost to my self-esteem and spurred me on to continue in my quest to develop my writing and presentation skills.

I even remember when she asked me to light a candle in class; even though I was worried I would burn something by accident, I completed it and felt good about my contribution.  It’s amazing how the smallest milestones and achievements can mean a lot to a person.

If you happen to be reading this Mrs McFetridge, do know that you made a positive and significant impact in the early years of my schooling.  Your kind, generous and supportive nature made me feel comfortable with learning, and I take inspiration from the example you set many years ago.

Thank you for demonstrating how important and valuable the role of a teacher is, in our society.  I am truly grateful.

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