Class act farewelled in Maiden Gully

AFTER 50 years of educating others, Maiden Gully Primary School teacher Betty Pritchard has called an end to her career in the classroom.

The grade four teacher celebrated her final day at school last week, surrounded by friends, family, colleagues and her beloved students.

Mrs Pritchard said her decision to retire was bittersweet.

“Teaching is simply invigorating,” she said. 

“To turn up to school each morning and face children ready to learn and be educated, it gives me so much energy. I will definitely miss it but it is time for me to retire. 

“I am leaving on a high note, not a low note, so it’s good.”

Mrs Pritchard began her career as a teacher in 1962 and has  worked in many primary schools around Bendigo, including Strathfieldsaye, Quarry Hill, Kennington and Maiden Gully. 

She said she had fond memories of accompanying her students on school camps.

“School camps were fantastic,” she said. 

“I got to see kids in a different setting to the classroom, I got to see a different side of them and they got to see a different side of me.” 

Mrs Pritchard said times had changed since she first began teaching.

“We used chalkboards back then, now we have whiteboards. Photocopying was extremely difficult and to show a film, you had to have a licence, so things have definitely changed,” she said. 

Mrs Pritchard is now looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and  travelling with her husband.

“Peter and I enjoy camping and I also like doing jigsaws,” she said.

Her puzzles will keep her busy next term, but she says she’ll  start to miss her profession after that.  

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