No matter what the journey is, it must end eventually, and after putting in many miles, a Portage teacher is saying goodbye to full-time teaching after three decades.
Pam Moffatt is an educator who has filled many roles over the years in Portage, from teaching Foods & Nutrition and Phys Ed to Elementary and High School classrooms, depending on the year.
Moffatt explains that she has been teaching at many different schools across Portage for the last number of years, with her final year being at Ecole Arthur Meighen School, where she taught Grade 4 students. Which, funny enough, made things come full circle. When she got her start as a full-time teacher in Treherne, Manitoba, she was teaching Grade 4 students.
She notes what inspired her to be a teacher was working in the fitness industry and already having her Physical Education Degree.
"I worked there (the fitness industry) for about a year," says Moffatt. "And the best part of it was the teaching aspect of nutrition and fitness and the classes. So, I decided that I would become a teacher."
When looking back at her teaching ride, Moffatt says that every year comes with great memories. However, there is one that sticks out as she reflects now.
"I think when you're asking me now, the one that stands out most is meeting new staff when COVID happened and I had to be switched from High School to Grade 4. So, I moved to Ecole Crescentview School to teach Grade 4 with not much notice. Once I got settled there with my class, then we were told we were going to the MNP building on the island. So that was quite a bit, I guess, a turning point in my career."
The educator says that dealing with COVID was a considerable challenge but may have been for the best in the end.
"Now that I look back, it was a fun way to end my career because I got back to the Grade 4's, and they love everything about school, and they are soaking in everything you try and teach them. So, that was a nice way to end my career."
Moffatt notes she taught Foods & Nutrition at Portage Collegiate Institute for 10 years with just one curriculum, so it was a fairly big switch up having to teach six curriculums to 9-year-olds. However, it brought Moffatt back to her roots of when she started teaching all those years prior in Treherne.
She talks about what she will miss most about being a teacher.
"The relationships you make with kids, especially when you have the same kids from 9:00 to 3:30 all day, all year. It's kind of like a family feeling."
While this might be it for Moffatt teaching full time, she says she will still be a substitute.
"So, I'll get that feeling going back to the kids, but without all the extra responsibilities that take up much of your time," says Moffatt. "There's a great need for substitute teachers, and so you can pick which grades you want to go to and how many days a week. It's kind of your choice."
Moffatt concludes that her time as a full-time teacher was a blast, and she will miss her role as not only an educator but as a coach, manager and mentor to the kids she helped nurture into adulthood.
As for what Moffatt plans to do with her newly found free time? She says she will be playing a lot of golf, exercising in her new home gym and hanging out with friends.