CCGS farewells Mrs Ros Hayles

Farewell Mrs Ros Hayles

CCGS farewells Junior School teacher, Mrs Ros Hayles in 2022 who has been teaching for 38 years with 21 of those at CCGS. She shares how lucky she has been to view the world through young eyes, how technology has changed throughout the years and shares memories of some of her early days of teaching.

What can you tell us about CCGS on your first day? Take us back to when you first started in 2003

2003 was a big year for the Hayles family who was new to CCGS. My son Ben began Year 9, my daughter Emma began Year 7 and I started teaching Kindergarten – all on the same day. KH had 28 students and it was a blisteringly hot day. I clearly remember one parent saying, “she looks very confident”. If only they knew! But, somehow, we managed to survive that first day, first week, and the first Term.

I will be forever grateful to the wonderful Mrs Gross who helped me along the way and remember our 9-year partnership teaching Kindergarten with affection. The Kindergarten classrooms looked very different from those we have today – there were no iPads, no smartboards, and no internet. How times have changed!

What have been the most significant changes in the school and in teaching since you started?

CCGS has changed in so many ways. The new Junior School is a state-of-the-art learning environment and the grounds have also changed significantly. Add in the Hockey turf, the Richard Lornie Centre, the Performing Arts Centre, and senior school renovations and you have amazing facilities.

The growth in technology has also changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The advent of smartboards and iPads was a game changer in education, particularly in the infant classes, allowing visual learners to thrive and holding little people’s attention for far longer than previously. Information is instantaneous and the words “Google it” are now a familiar cry in our classrooms.

What has been the highlight of your CCGS days?

Seeing our infant children grow and move through infants, Junior School, into senior school, and then begin their journey in life beyond. I have often recognised a face and thought “oh I remember you sitting in the corner in KH, feeling apprehensive and unsure.” Watching the same student stand up with confidence to speak in assembly or organise a fundraising event for a worthwhile cause or help a young student when they are hurt reminds me of what a wonderful school CCGS is. We must be doing something right!

One day in particular always seems to be remembered by all students – Fairytale Day in Kindergarten. It is now a much-loved school tradition and I am so proud that Mrs Gross and I dressed up and paraded for the very first Fairytale Day. It was mayhem and madness but magical too! 

What lessons have you learned from your students?

Not to take myself too seriously and to be grateful. Young children are brutally honest so having a sense of humour is a must if you are going to teach young learners. I have been told I look anywhere between 30 and 90, all with a well-meaning angelic smile. I am also regularly critiqued on what I am wearing, shoes, hair etc. You need to have thick skin to work with infants. But I have also been lucky to view the world through their young eyes, full of wonder and curiosity. It is lovely to witness their enthusiasm and joy for learning. 

What do you think are the most important skills students learn from school today?

Learning to live in a global community through acceptance and tolerance and becoming a self-motivated and lifelong learner who always questions why and how.

What advice do you have for new teachers?

Slow down and smell the roses - literally, because there are a lot of them at CCGS! Being an educator is a complex career with so many demands and sometimes we lose sight of the children and ourselves under the pressure of work commitments. Listening to our peers and students is probably one of the most valuable traits we as teachers can have.

What will you miss about CCGS?

CCGS is a beautiful school environment but it is the people – the staff, students, and parents whom I will miss the most. The camaraderie and the supporting and energising atmosphere at CCGS are a rare combination that I will always cherish.

What are you planning to do in your free time?

Swim, walk, read, learn a tanguage and travel. It’s the small things in life!