Of sport of joy or woe, I cannot let my voice ring out, nor let my spirits flow, ’till I have sung one grandest song – the best, the first, the last.
To show my school my love is strong, until our time be past.’
Today was my farewell. A moment I have dreaded since I first sat through my very first round in 2004. The introvert in me has worried and fretted and hypothesised terrible, embarrassing fuck-ups in my speech for 11 years since that very first year.
But it was ok. I lived. This comic by Sarah Anderson sums it up;
I didn’t let myself have a glass of wine until I had done it, no-one wants to be addressed by a red faced baboon, and it was fine. I write this more to reassure me than anyone else.
Here is my speech;
‘I have been dreading this moment for 12 years so I will keep it brief and to the point.
Auckland Girls was actually my high school from third form until I finally convinced my mother to let me leave at the end of fifth form. She thinks it is hilarious that I ended up working back here but it has grown to make sense to me because it feels like a second home to some extent.
My house growing up was loud – at one point I was the eldest of 7 siblings – but we always had music playing in the background and people visiting and general loud life happening regardless of how many people were actually living there at the time. I think I had my teacher voice and volume down pat by the time I was 12.
This chaos and noise suited me I think because I am by nature relatively introverted and could curl up in the corner with my book and be content in the knowledge that life was happening around me and I could partake if I wanted to or not. AGGS has been the same for me – full of life and love and – crucially – large enough for me to fade in to the background if I needed to.
I am under no illusions that there is no place like this school and I vacillate constantly between being excited about the challenges ahead of me and absolutely terrified of teaching science and maths and not messing it up completely.
However teaching at Auckland Girls and working with all of you has taught me so many things that I am fairly confident I’ll be ok. I have been mentored by some amazing people, supported in my various roles by experts in their field and have valued and appreciated every wise word that has come my way.
The heart of this school is its people. The staff and students bring these buildings to life.
Where I am going I will be one of one and a half teachers – no anonymity for me there. It’s also really, really quiet so I think I am going to be making some changes.
I will miss this place more than I think I realise just yet but it is a good time to go – to end with my Deaning cohort feels right – and I know that you can take a grrl out of AGGS but you’ll never take AGGS out of the grrl. Damnit, Mum was right.’
SO that’s me. I am going to drink a LOT of wine now.
I’ll be back, don’t you worry.