Known for her unique and thoughtful teaching methods, Jane Weber will be retiring this week after a 34-year career, much of it spent at St. Jacobs Public School.
The school held an assembly on Monday to honour Weber and her time there. From the response, it was apparent she was very well liked among students, staff and parents.
Principal Kathy Mathers says Weber will be missed by the entire community at St. Jacobs PS.
“She is just amazing. She is the epitome of what every person would like their child to be taught by. She has just had a wonderful career – she is just so student-centered and excellent in her teaching practice.”
Weber sat in ‘the special chair’ for the duration of the assembly, which during her time as a teacher she used as a daily privilege for Room Two students. Each day someone from her class was chosen to spend their day working in the chair, students would be nominated by their classmates or by their teacher for doing a kind deed or being a positive example in some way.
Students and staff nominated her for her kind, caring, and positive demeanor, her one-of-a-kind songs, and her outstanding effort and commitment to the success of each child.
Melanie Martin spoke on behalf of parents at the St. Jacobs school.
“As a parent, I nominate Mrs. Weber to be in the chair today because she leads by example. She is a positive role model that any parent would want their child to follow after. She draws out goodness and kindness in her students, and she gives them opportunities to be a contributing citizen,” she said. “Thank you for your exemplary person and for giving us you.”
Over Weber’s 34 years of teaching, 20 of which have been at St. Jacobs, she taught more than 800 students.
“When I think back at my time at St. Jacobs school, I will remember all of your faces – you have made my time here so amazing and have helped to create wonderful memories for me,” she said. “I will miss so much about teaching. I will miss always being able to teach the world’s best class. I will miss hearing you come down the hallway towards me and seeing excitement on your faces. I will miss looking forward to coming to school each day anticipating being here with you. We have worked and played and cooked and solved problems and discussed life together. Who else will want to hear all of my stories? Who else will believe me when I tell them I am 25 … when my son is 28?”
Bernice Clancy has been Weber’s teaching partner for more than 20 years. Weber taught the students mathematics, social studies, music and phys. ed, while Clancy took on the role of teaching language arts, science and art to their Room Two Grades 3 and 4 students.
Starting as teaching partners when the two worked at Floradale, they then moved to St. Jacobs PS where they had been teaching together ever since.
“I remember when Mrs. Clancy and I heard that we had been hired at St. Jacobs school 20 years ago, we were so happy to be coming here,” she said. “Little did we know what an amazing place it would be to teach. I quickly found out I was not just teaching the students here, I was becoming part of a close-knit community, a community of students staff and parents that I think so highly of.”
Weber spoke fondly of her colleague.
“I will miss my dear Mrs. Clancy and I will miss being called Mrs. Clancy instead of Mrs. Weber on a daily basis. I am sure she won’t mind no longer being called by my name though. You have been my dear partner,” said Weber.
When asked how next year will be for the Room Two students and Clancy without Weber, she said simply it will be hard.
“Well I am going to miss her terribly, but it’s going to be a new chapter for her and me as well. I am excited for her and what she will be able to do in this next stage of her life, I am going to miss her here at St. Jacobs and in Room Two,” she said. “It won’t be the same, but I am just trusting that my new partner will be as wonderful as Jane has been.”
Although retirement is an exciting new chapter, Weber noted her time teaching at St. Jacobs will never be forgotten.
“Though I look forward to the adventure and new things in my retirement there is so much I leave behind. This job has filled my heart overflowing so many times and it’s because of the people; you have made this so rewarding.”
As a parting gift, each class at St. Jacobs PS made her a ‘To-Do List’, something she was somewhat famous for in her classroom, to provide suggestions for things to keep her going over the next few months as she adjusts to her retirement.