In the South
It will be a sad day for Tokanui School teacher Maree Gorman when she walks out of the school gates for the last time after 20 years of teaching new entrants at the school.
She finds comfort in knowing she is leaving behind a legacy of smiles, as the thing she will miss most is her pupils leaving the classroom with a smile.
Mrs Gorman said she had seen many pupils pass through her classroom and seeing many of them return for her farewell this month bought a tear to her eye.
''It was amazing to see them all come back, but now I have time to spend with family,'' she said.
She joked that she would be able to make her husband's lunch after listening to him go on about it throughout her teaching career.
''I'll spend my time trying to be a good wife,'' she said, laughing.
Each year, on average, the new entrants class would have about 17 pupils and all had played some part on Mrs Gorman's life.
The school is very family-oriented place, and that is what she loved about it, she said.
Technology had played the biggest part in the changing of Tokanui School but Mrs Gorman said she went with the flow and taught herself what she needed to know.
Teaching in general had also changed as the standards expected of pupils nowadays had been raised.
''Every pupil is different, and they will all get there at some stage,'' she said.
She thanked the school's principal, Kate Stevenson, who she had worked with over the years and admired her passion for the children and the community.
''I am leaving behind some lovely memories, but I will miss the kids walking into my class in the mornings,she said.
Mrs Gorman now has one goal when she retires from a career she enjoyed every day.
''I want to get a donkey, but I'll have to sneak it on to the farm,'' she said.