Long-time Murraylands educator to enjoy retirement after this teaching year ends

STALWART: Retiring teacher Meg Bartlett with former student Ellie May and Ellie's son Jayden O'Toole. Photo: Nick Grimm.
STALWART: Retiring teacher Meg Bartlett with former student Ellie May and Ellie's son Jayden O'Toole. Photo: Nick Grimm.

After nearly 50 years of educating, Murray Bridge Preschool Kindergarten teacher Meg Bartlett has truly earned her retirement.

Her final day of teaching will be December 15 when the kindergarten breaks up for the summer holidays, and Mrs Bartlett said she had mixed feelings about finishing up.

“It will be great because I’ll be able to everything that I haven’t been able to do because I’ve been working, but I will miss all the little faces coming through,” she said.

After teaching an estimated 3000 students, Mrs Bartlett said she is definitely looking forward to a bit of down-time.

Travels around the country are on the cards, but the early stages of retirement won’t all be about relaxation.

“Home renovations are definitely planned and I’ve got a small hobby farm that I’ll be able to spend a lot more time at, which I’m really looking forward to,” she said.

December 15 would mark final day of a 48-year career in early education - one that started by teaching reception and year one students at the Cleve Area School in 1969. 

After two years in Cleve, Mrs Bartlett began working at the Tailem Bend Primary School in 1971 and has been in the Murrylands ever since.

She became the director of the Tailem Bend Kindergarten in 1977 until 1987 before taking up a role at the Murray Bridge Preschool Kindergarten in 1988, where she remained.

One of her career highlights was teaching different generations of children from the same families.

Former student Ellie May is one such student. Mrs Barlett taught the now 24-year-old during her kindergarten years and currently teaches Ms May’s son Jayden O’Toole. 

Ms May had only kind words for her former educator. 

“You can’t deny she’s passionate about teaching young kids,” she said. “I don’t think you could do it for so long if you weren’t.”

A farewell afternoon tea will be held on Sunday November 26 between 2-4pm at the kindergarten on Mannum Road, and Mrs Barlett would love for former students to come along.

“It would be a great send-off to see plenty of former students before I take my next journey.”