Backpacking Teacher

Travel, teaching and things in between. Saigon is the focus for now.

Farewell speeches – no fuss it’s time to move on

with 2 comments



I attended a farewell function for the Deputy Principal of the school I am myself about to depart from. The Deputy in question is a very professional woman who takes her teaching and administration seriously and does a very good job of it. In an admirable fashion she is easily able to switch from this professional persona to a more relaxed and humorous persona when in less formal settings.

In any case this post is not so much about her but by something she said in her farewell speech which resonated with me. I’m paraphrasing here because I don’t recall her exact words but they went something like this “ I don”t want much fuss because I believe that we come here to do a job, try to do it well and then when the time comes we move on to be replaced by others”.

I like the simple, elegant professionalism displayed in that comment. That teaching is not so much about us but about what we do and that none of us are irreplaceable. I also like the no fuss bit. I am personally not looking forward to the time when I need to say farewell to my classes and to my colleagues. I want to quietly fade into the background – not be forgotten (my ego’s too big for that!) but just to quietly move on without fuss. It’s getting time for me to move on. Gibran, in one of his many bits of writing, described a person’s life being like clouds moving inexorably forward experiencing both joy and pain – “the life of clouds is a parting and a meeting. A tear and a smile”. Well it’s almost time to part and I don’t enjoy it so I just want to get it over with – without any fuss.


Photo used under creative commons licence. Original located at


Written by backpackingteacher

December 6, 2008 at 11:20 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Her comment is so true and something to remember in nearly every profession…not just teaching..even though we all hope to leave a “profound” impact on whatever or whoever we do the job for!


    December 7, 2008 at 9:07 pm

  2. thanks for leaving the comment ….


    December 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm

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