I couldn’t believe it, my last day of teaching these amazing kids had finally come around. The decision to leave teaching to start Keela Yoga Farm was not one that I had taken lightly, and the children that I had had the pleasure of teaching this year made that decision all the more difficult. The enthusiasm that oozed out of these kids was infectious and I was grateful for them each day; hand on heart, my class this year has been the best class that I have had in my 9 years of teaching so far. A bitter-sweet ending to a successful career in Primary school teaching.
I had so many mixed feelings about this day. On the one hand it meant that we will be moving towards our goal of starting Keela, but on the other hand it was the end of a career that I felt so passionately about, and felt so good about turning up to each day. Those light bulb moments, the small achievements made throughout the year, and the growth and development of these kids will always amaze me.
Happily, my final day finished perfectly. It was time to decide what to do with our class science experiment. We had been testing and observing what happens to man-made and organic materials in soil over time. A recent unit had been learning about landfills, waste, pollution and the environment. The container was full of soil and had three sections: one that contained tinfoil, one with cling film and then one with food scraps. I put the question the to kids about what we should do with this lovely compost we had created in the third section? I was delighted when they suggested emptying it into the garden at school to add nutrients to the soil. This was one of those amazing teaching moments where I realised all the learning engagements had been worthwhile, what I had been teaching had taken root. So, an hour before school was out, we trotted down to the field and emptied the compost onto our chosen tree. This sparked the ensuing discussion without any prompting or guidance, about why we should use less plastic, what we should do with it once we’re finished with it, and how and why the food had turned into soil. As I stood watching and listening, I was inspired by this new generation.
Needless to say it was this moment that was my undoing and I became rather emotional. After keeping it together all week and all day it was listening to these kids discuss composting that finally got to me! The perfect segue from teaching kids about Mathematics, Language and life, to a life-time of composting and sustainable living.
I choose not to believe that this is the end of my Primary school teaching career. I worked hard to be able to teach in the schools that I wanted to teach in and I continued to expand and add to my skills in order to be a better teacher each and every year. At Keela Yoga Farm I will continue to teach and learn, about sustainability, and yoga, but for now, a brief pause while we embark on this exciting journey of starting our own business, and, a new way of living. Who knows, someday we may even start a small school to complement Keela Yoga Farm.