After 32 years of teaching at Udny Green Primary School, Barbara Boswell said an emotional goodbye to staff, pupils and parents in December.
A surprise presentation was held for the popular teacher the same night as the children performed held their Panto for Christmas, ‘Dick Whittington’. Barbara said: “The kids were brilliant, they did so well considering rehearsals had been cancelled due to the snow. The next thing I knew, Mrs Hogg made an announcement about my retirement, so I then made a speech - it was a lovely evening.”
Barbara taught in Lanarkshire before she started at Udny Green and explained how much things have changed over the years. She said: “Udny Green never used to be a small school, that is why an extension was built many years ago. Also, I used to teach a lot of country children, now, most youngsters are the children of professionals.”
“I have taught many families in my time at the school, brothers and sisters – even my former pupils children!”
Barbara taught P3/4/5 for a couple of years when she first joined and from then on has always been class teacher to the P5/6/ and 7s.
She spoke of memories and highlights over the years: “There are so many memories, but what sticks out in my mind is when Prince Charles visited the village – we were all lined up and he asked me about the school and at that point the extension was being built.
“Highlights would have to be when we took the children away on school trips, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was a relaxed atmosphere.”
She said: “It’s nice to see the pupils grow and watch them build their confidence before they go to academy. I think in a smaller school that it’s great you know all the children. It’s lovely how they all help each other, there is such a friendly atmosphere at Udny Green.
“The community cafe that is held regularly is great for older pupils to interact with members of the public and build up many skills - I am hoping to go back to the cafe as a guest,” she beamed.
“The most emotional day for me was the Tuesday, the last day of teaching. In the morning we had the children’s parties and then the service in the afternoon. It was when I said goodbye to the children and the parents that it really hut home that I was going.”
She said: “I will miss the kids the most, I have had such a wonderful class over the past few years. I will miss the staff also, but we have a few things coming up, so will be keeping in touch.”
Barbara plans to enjoy her retirement by doing some travelling, starting off with a few trips at the beginning of the year to Amsterdam, Madeira, and Yorkshire.
The popular teacher received Ortak Jewellery with her birthstone, a large Winnie the Pooh, “all the kids know that’s my favourite character,” she said, champagne and flowers, in which the youngest and the oldest pupils of the school presented. She said: “I would like to thank everyone for their contribution towards my gifts, it was a lovely gesture.”
Head Teacher Susan Hogg told the Times: “Barbara has been at the school a very long time and has seen all the children grow up throughout the years – she will be greatly missed by the pupils and staff here at Udny Green.
“We wish her well in her retirement.”