Goodbye HIS Hello LCS

It is the last week of the busiest school year in my 14 years of teaching and I have to say I am totally exhausted. haha.

I have just packed up the student gallery with the help of Cherry and Flo (you guys are the best and I will miss you both), boxed away most art room items yesterday, handed out all the work, filled in the required forms, put a pack together for the next art teacher, finished reports, completed the Q4 photo curriculum (on the new curriculum page), handed in all money from the calendar sales, frame sales and Habitat donations just sat down and took a deep breath.

This is it, this is truly the end of my time here at HIS! I really can’t believe it because arriving here at the airport with Brian’s smiley face welcoming me to Hangzhou is so vivid, like it was yesterday-not three years ago! I have had an amazing time here, enjoyed facing and overcoming many challenges, traveling around China and of course meeting my husband.

I thought I’d take this moment to reflect on the highlights for me at HIS:

Habitat. Even though this is not art related it was a brilliant experience. The hard work was something I had never experienced before and all for families who didn’t have homes. I also enjoyed the bond formed with the students through the common aches and pains in muscles we never knew existed. Being a hobo for the day was a lot of fun and still is mentioned/drawn (Maddie) by the students.

Prize ceremonies. Going to Shanghai with Roosa (2010) and Bliss (2011) was not only a very proud moment for me but it was also a brilliant way to get to know Bliss’s mum, Roosa’s dad and the girls. I don’t often have time to just sit and chat to the students as it is usually too busy for me especially in LS so these moments are very special to me.

Art Exhibitions. Seeing everyone turn up and support all the art exhibitions. Meeting Wei at the right moment. The absolute highlight for me was seeing the students excitedly showing their parents their work and explaining it to them. This year the location and help from the parents, Paul and Jane made this feel more like a community event unlike previous years where I had to do it by myself. Thanks to everyone who helped I really sincerely appreciated it. There was no way I could have done all that in one day by myself.

Projects. The junk sculpture was brilliant. I loved the grade 7 printing, and pastel eyes and of course the totem poles and umbrellas were a real highlight. I have loved everything the students have completed this year. Last year I adored the landscape paintings, pastel animals and the scream canvases. Every year I have tried to teach something different depending on the students abilities and interests. Often I am astounded by what they produce when they are given the freedom and confidence.

International Day. Despite the time to prepare for all the activities the planning was actually fun. I enjoyed working with Liz Hah to create the successful day for lower school. The absolute highlight of this event for me was the major art projects where all students in lower school were involved. Despite the mess and some stressed parents (sorry) I really did love the aboriginal art canvases(2010).

Clubs. Over the three years I ran a yoga club, a walking group, a hiking club, arts and crafts club and a mural club. All of them were so much fun. The most enjoyable clubs were the walking group in 2010 and the mural clubs were very successful. There is nothing more satisfying than leaving a permanent mark on a school wall! 🙂

Publications. I am really happy with this blog. All the extra time after hours to maintain it was totally worth it. The best thing though is that the students of HIS will be able to see and chat to the students of LCS in Africa. It makes saying goodbyes much easier when I can say “I will miss you, please write to me on the blog”. Seeing my students work printed in newspapers, books, calendars, on bags and in newsletters is also extremely rewarding. How can a student not be pleased with their efforts when they are published?

I really could go on and on but I will leave it here by saying parents and students you are a family to me. I will truly miss you. Have a wonderful holiday and PLEASE continue using this blog to stay in touch.

From Mrs Jardin

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