Respected Illawarra primary school teacher Lynn Bedwell is saying goodbye to the classroom to spend more time with her family.
Many would know Mrs Bedwell from the corridors of Stanwell Park Public School having been home to the majority of her 53-year teaching career.
A 10-minute walk to the beach usually takes her an hour because of the number of past students and families who stop her for a chat.
Ahead of her official retirement party on Friday, Mrs Bedwell spoke with the Mercury with some imparting wisdom on raising children.
"Parents are number one educators," Mrs Bedwell said.
"I have them if I'm lucky five hours a day so mum and dad have them for the other 19 hours a day and the weekend,
"What they learn with mum and dad, we can enhance that as teachers with our knowledge."
She always wanted to be a teacher, playing 'schools' as a child and said leaving the job is "painful".
"I've loved every single day ... what a joy to be able to shape parenting and teaching," she said.
She often gives students an insight into how Stanwell Park changed in the past 40 years.
"We had the steam train and we had dirt roads, and the milk delivered," she said.
Mrs Bedwell loves laughing with the kids, humour is her number one tip for helping kids learn in the classroom.
"I do use a lot of humour in the classroom, and I think that resolves a lot of behaviour problems if we can laugh at ourselves," she said.
Her fondest memories include teaching the year six class and preparing them for a smooth transition into high school.
"The thing I loved most was teaching formal dance to [year] six class kids and the idea of holding somebody's hands and actually dancing together was to me quite hilarious until you got them going," she said.
Mrs Bedwell said kids need to be happy and want to come to school for learning to take place.
Children will be far from absent from her life as she prepares to spend more time with her 13 grandchildren aged between five months to 26 and one great-grandchild.
Her Thirroul home is nicknamed 'Nini's preschool' as kids are dropped off to spend time with their grandmother.
Past students and friends are welcome to celebrate Mrs Bedwell's 53 years of teaching on Friday, August 20 at a special school assembly and reception at the Stanwell Park Surf Club. Please contact the school to RVSP.
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