October 4, 2023

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Longtime Stratford elementary faculty principal retires after 34 years in training

Longtime Stratford elementary faculty principal retires after 34 years in training

Having labored for 34 years in training — 24 of which as principal at faculties in Stratford and Mitchell — Paula Robinson formally completed off her final day of faculty on Monday.

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When Bedford public faculty principal Paula Robinson arrived at work Monday for each the final day earlier than summer time trip and her final day earlier than retirement, she knew she was capping off her 34-year profession as an educator on the proper time.

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Robinson, who sat on the helm of Bedford for the previous three years and was previously principal at Higher Thames elementary faculty in Mitchell, Stratford Central secondary faculty and Hamlet public faculty through the previous 20 years, mentioned she felt prepared to maneuver on to her life’s subsequent chapter.

“It truly feels nice, surprisingly,” Robinson mentioned with amusing. “I’ve been prepared for it. I knew I used to be going to go. After I got here right here, I knew I’d give three years to Bedford after which retire, so it’s extra thrilling than something. … Thirty-four years is lengthy sufficient.

“I really feel like I nonetheless have tons to present and many vitality, however I need to go earlier than that’s gone. I need to finish once I nonetheless have tons to present and I nonetheless have a number of vitality. I don’t need to finish my profession and be grumpy about it. I need to exit laughing and with folks nonetheless wishing for extra quite than saying, ‘Thank god she’s gone.’”

From the reactions of her college students on the Stratford faculty, who lined the halls on her final day to want her nicely, and her workers, who embellished her workplace each day for greater than per week, Robinson was certainly beloved.

“I’m most likely most of happy with the relationships I’ve made. At each faculty I’ve been at, I can look again and consider some actually enjoyable issues we did, some initiatives we had, nevertheless it’s not all about enjoyable,” Robinson mentioned. “I used to be principal at Higher Thames for (the launch of) full-time kindergarten,  that was a neat factor, and serving to facilitate inclusive school rooms was one other factor I’m happy with, for certain.”

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Robinson can also be happy with her work with the province’s New Instructor Induction Program, via which she mentored new lecturers, supplied them skilled assist, and helped them develop the abilities and data wanted to be efficient lecturers, in addition to leaders of their respective faculty communities.

“The enjoyable with the children is what I’ll miss most about being a principal. … I like having little issues with courses that make them snort and have enjoyable. I at all times say my job is to go in, stir them up after which get out, and go away the aftermath for his or her lecturers. I’ve acquired little, humorous schticks I do with numerous courses and I’ll miss that. I like doing the assemblies and having all the children collectively, and constructing the group,” Robinson mentioned.

“And I’ve actually loved working with the dad and mom, too, so I’ll miss quite a lot of these sorts of friendships and issues which were made alongside the way in which.”

Whereas she’s retiring as a principal, Robinson mentioned she’s going to proceed working with the Avon Maitland District faculty board and mentoring new lecturers on a part-time foundation. With the remainder of her now free time, Robinson mentioned she hopes to search out some alternatives to volunteer in and round Stratford, journey along with her household, and possibly attempt to slot in a daily recreation of Scrabble or Pickleball on the recreation centre.

To the scholars she’s served over the previous 34 years, Robinson has a easy message.

“Carpe diem. Grasp the chance within the day. I discuss to my children about that on a regular basis. Particularly yearly whenever you’re coping with the oldest children, I at all times discuss how they’re the leaders and there’s all types of alternatives for them. Take the alternatives. Don’t let every thing cross you by and never become involved. So become involved,” Robinson mentioned.

“And for lecturers, I might say keep in mind that you set the local weather within the class. It’s so simple to make a toddler joyful. It’s simple to make them smile and make them giggle and make them really feel good.”

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