Waikanae teacher Martin Taylor was farewelled from school this week
Popular Waikanae School teacher Martin Taylor is leaving teaching and a farewell assembly was held at Waikanae School on the 20th July.
The special assembly included speeches, items by students and the school band. In his farewell speech to Mr Taylor, Waikanae School principal Bevan Campbell recounted how Mr Taylor arrived at Waikanae School firstly as part of his teacher training, before then joining the staff on a fulltime basis in 2003 as a provisionally registered teacher (PRT) after he graduated from teachers' college. Teaching was a significant career change for Mr Taylor and followed a 20 year stint in the NZ Army, which included a being a part of a bomb disposal unit.
Mr Taylor's first class was a short period with Year 5-6s, The following year he moved rooms and became the teacher for a Year 6-7 class, and subsequently a year 7-8 composite class, a role he continued for the rest of his time at Waikanae School.
Mr Taylor told of how he has teaching in his blood. A photo frame he showed displayed four generations of teachers, starting with his great-grandmother. Next was his two grandparents, his father and then himself. Absent from the line-up was the photo of his daughter who is a teacher in Auckland. Mr Taylor spoke of how he had taught over 300 children in his time at the school, and will remember with fondness the many "amazing people and amazing kids" he has encountered.
Elizabeth Couchman, the BOT chair, spoke to the assembled children and parents about Mr Taylor being "an inspiration to all children particularly the year 7 and 8s", while two of his current Year 8 pupils, Dorian Marsden and Frankie Davis, told of Mr Taylor being "fun and creative", and a teacher with a "lively and humorous personality"
When later asked about the highs and lows of his teaching career he mentioned that both were centered in his experiences with a particularly difficult special needs child who he had seen through to college level, and the real rewards from having being involved in making a positive impact and seeing small successes in the child's life. He also spoke of driving into a supermarket car park recently, and seeing a child who, from a distance, he initially thought was his former pupil, and then driving back around a second time just to check if he was OK. While it turned out it wasn't the child he thought it was, it was indicative of Mr Taylor's care and concern for the children he had taught, a characteristic his colleagues recognise in him.
After a three week break Mr Taylor commences his new career, something he says is on his 'bucket list', training as a driver with TransMetro.
Story and Photo from Peter Corlett