Beyond the expected

January 19, 2022 | Focus On Education | Volume 26 Issue 2
Pamela Doerksen | Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary and Middle Schools
Grade Two students build cardboard cars together. (WMEMS photo)

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.

Grade Two students build cardboard cars together. (WMEMS photo)

Share this page: Twitter Instagram

Add new comment

Canadian Mennonite invites comments and encourages constructive discussion about our content. Actual full names (first and last) are required. Comments are moderated and may be edited. They will not appear online until approved and will be posted during business hours. Some comments may be reproduced in print.