I have been retired from teaching since July 2011 and I don't really miss it. I have heaps of wonderful memories though; of my former students, their parents and my workmates over those 'not quite' 40 years! It's wonderful when I'm able to 'catch up' with former students...those in my first class ever are now 54-55! In contrast, those in my last class are now in Year 11. Many of my former students have 'caught up' with me through Facebook, Instagram and Friends ReUnited (which was originally Schoolfriends.com). Some I've met up with in person...and they are always pointing out how short I am! :-)
One of the students from my Newmarket days featured a number of years ago in an article in the QUT alumni magazine, 'Links'. The boy with the great sense of humour and fun, who loved to draw, had grown up to become a man who has had an amazing number of achievements. I'm talking about John Danalis.
John's dad and uncle ran a veterinarian practice where I took my pets, so even years after John had been my student I would always get updates on what this young man was doing. As I expected, John did work as an illustrator. I kept the Christmas card that he made for me...hand drawn of course. (well you just never know whether your student will become a famous artist or not! lol)
John's has illustrated children's books; some written by others but he also has written and illustrated his own books. As a writer, John is a popular speaker at schools. Read about John here or watch John speaking about his books, interspersed with a presentation to students here. He is a brilliant speaker and the students are enthralled and consequently engaged. (and probably inspired!) And here is a link to a podcast of an interview with John on ABC radio. (it's well worth a listen to learn about Mary...that's all I'm saying!!)
Some photos of the adult John Danalis, 'borrowed' from the 'web'.