When I reflect on my years at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary and Middle Schools (WMEMS), the thing that stands out to me the most is the community.
I still connect with some of the friends I made back when I was a student. The students in Mrs. Dyck’s class welcomed me into their classroom family. The parents of the Before & After program blessed me with amazing gifts when I left on maternity leave. When I was a new teacher navigating the struggles of those first few days in Grade 1, the school families and staff supported me in every way.
Even as a more experienced teacher, the love and support I have felt, especially in this season of COVID-19, has been overwhelming.
My own children got the same care from their teachers that I experienced when I was a student here. I loved the way their teachers were able to integrate faith into their lessons and, just like it happened to me, my children were challenged to think about making and maintaining a personal relationship with God.
The WMEMS community is amazing because it extends beyond the expected. It is seen in:
- Former students stopping by for a visit.
- Parent volunteers tearing up at the thought of helping out at their last hot lunch day.
- Staff having ugly Christmas dress/sweater dress-up days.
- The newspaper cutouts in the staff room of students we used to teach and news about what they are doing now.
- The school parents and families going above and beyond to make our school better and to make staff feel appreciated.
- The surprise gifts from school parents, just because.
- The messages and cards that come just at the right time.
- The WMEMS alumni who are now on staff or are school parents of their own WMEMS students.
- The joy of working with awesome students, families, and staff that make WMEMS special.
Every year I get at least one message from a former student or parent that they have put their Grade 1 Thanksgiving blocks or their nativity set out on display, and that warms my heart to know that I had a tiny part in what has become a family tradition.
The author is a WMEMS alumna.
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