saying goodbye to Mrs T. Woods

BY Administrator

Farewell to Mrs Theresa Woods:
There is something endearing and contagious about the positivity of Mrs Theresa Woods. She lights up a room and she cares deeply. She is brave and loyal. She makes people feel valued. She is the stuff of the magic and fairy tales she is so passionate about because she truly does create a magic. Even on a dull and dreary day, Mrs Woods has the ability to bring sunshine and light. She made the staff laugh and she made them remember the reasons why we entered the teaching profession (it is in the absolute love of the children and the excitement of creating special school moments in young lives). Her leaving has left the staff a little teary, and a little jealous of those who will get to work with her.
Mrs Theresa Woods was a Riebeek learner and a school prefect. She matriculated in 2007. She started teaching at Riebeek in 2012 and taught Grade 5 with Miss Arthur for 4 years. In 2016, she moved up to Grade 6 where she taught with Miss Hattingh for the year. In 2017, she moved to Grade 7, where she taught with Mrs Chrysostomou. Her areas of involvement included Hockey festival co-ordinator, Grade 7 social, Spring Adventure co-ordinator, Stay awake co-ordinator and Grade 5, 6 and 7 Grade Head.
Mrs Woods is dedicated and passionate. She is humble and enthusiastic. A lesson on plants was never enough… The whole class would be outside planting bean seeds, making a mess and having fun. A Grade outing was never enough - it wasn’t allowed to be anywhere boring, it had to be somewhere different. A hockey festival was never enough - jumping castles were ordered, music was arranged to “get the vibe going” and there were great bacon and egg rolls. A hockey tour was never enough - permission was got to leave school earlier, prizes were bought for the girls and there had to be ice cream as dessert after dinner. Her smile, bubbly personality and non-stop stories brighten up the staffroom, prefab areas and office block. 
In junior school staff meetings, Mrs Woods always had great ideas. A plan would evolve that often involved unicorns or flamingos, thanks to her. For those wondering why the meetings took longer than the scheduled few minutes, it can be revealed that Mrs Woods loves explaining and talking. 
Most of Mrs Woods’ time at Riebeek was spent with the same group of girls - The 2018 Grade 8s. Mrs Woods says, “It was such a rewarding experience to move and to grow with these girls. To see how their personalities develop from Grade 5 to 7 was awesome. I share a bond with these girls. You get to know someone incredibly well when you see them every day for 3 years. I want to thank these learners for being so amazing, being able to read me so well and always knowing what I expected of them without me having to tell them. They are a special group who are kind to one another and take care of each other as a class. You will always be my babies.” 
Her highlights include the 2016 concert (as it was so much fun for Mrs Woods to teach the girls the Bieber dances and she was Sandy in the staff number), hockey matches with mini-hockey girls (and ice cream after the game - the highlight for everyone), the 2017 Plett hockey tour and the past two Grade 7 camps.
Mrs Woods starts at Herbert Hurd next term, where she will be teaching Grade 7. Mrs Woods and her husband are moving to Port Elizabeth.
When asked about her time at Riebeek, Mrs Woods states, “I have loved my time at Riebeek. I started out as a very young 22-year-old wanting to make a difference in the lives of little people. I have grown so much over the years. If I have taught you, you have made a difference in my life and you have helped me grow. I always thought that, as the teacher, I would be passing on the knowledge and doing all the educating. But, you have been teaching me all along. I have learnt so much from the Riebeek girls. I’ve learnt the importance of singing and dancing when we are happy. I’ve learnt patience... so much patience. I’ve learnt the importance of being in the moment. I’ve learnt how important it is to celebrate, to celebrate each other and to celebrate every birthday with a surprise party. I’ve learnt to enjoy the simple things in life, such as an ice-cream after we’ve lost hockey matches... that makes us feel like winners. I’ve learnt how important it is to believe in the make believe, after all those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. And when we lost our friend, you showed me that we truly are a little family taking care of one another. Riebeek girls truly are remarkable. You have all crept so deeply into my heart.”
Mrs Chrysostmou said, “We never know what life has planned for us. However, the most important thing is to have your family and the best picked friends by your side. Mrs Woods is a gem, a one in a million kind of person and as she starts her new chapter, she has her family, Riebeek family and friends cheering for her, supporting her and standing right by her side.”
In closing, a favourite quote of Mrs Woods, “If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, show it. Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there for one day, it might not be the next. Never take that for granted. Say what you need to say, then say a little more. Say too much. Show too much. Love too much. Everything is temporary but love. Love outlives us all.”

Goodbye is not an ending


 July 04, 2018
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