Teachers change lives every day

Thank you, Mrs. Foley

Author: Jessica Bromley
Teacher's name: Mrs. Mary Foley
Teacher's school: Sacred Heart All-Grade

Mrs. Foley has a passion for teaching, watching students learn and grow, and a huge heart like no other. She holds so much love for all of the children that have ever been in her presence.

Mrs. Foley is always ready for a challenge, especially when grades continued to combine within her classroom, and she always succeeded, no matter what demands were placed upon her. Her involvement and dedication in all events within our school, our church, and our community has not gone unnoticed over the years, and she continues to make her presence known in all events within our school and community since her retirement in June 2015.

I first came to know Mrs. Foley as my teacher in Grade 1. She taught me from Grade 1 until Grade 3, and she remained active in all of my school years at Sacred Heart until I graduated. In my early school years, I had already had so much respect for Mrs. Foley that I told her that I wanted to grow up and become a teacher just like her; and so I did.

From a teacher’s perspective today, I often wish I had apologized for all of my daily arguments with my other classmates over the chalkboard and chalk holder in her class. But through all of our arguments, her endless supply of patience was outstanding.

It is also important that I commend Mrs. Foley on teaching stage presence to all of the students at our school. All of our Spring and Christmas concerts ran smoothly with her standing behind the curtains, on the side of the stage, cheering us on while our legs shook. We knew that she wouldn’t dare let us stumble over our words because she would mouth our lines the moment we doubted ourselves to ensure that we would be successful. She even continued to support us on one Christmas concert occasion, after misjudging her steps, and taking a fall off the side of the stage. That night she proved to us that the show must go on no matter what!

In Grade 3, Mrs. Foley encouraged all of her students, including myself, to learn how to spell new words. She loved words and commended students greatly for taking pride in their spelling, as she did in hers. Her love of words sparked my early  interest in words and English, and it quite possibly could have been the beginning of my life-long learning of English, as I later went on and completed a full degree in the English Language and Literature in University.

Not only was Mrs. Foley my teacher, she was also a spiritual role model outside of the school and in our Church as well. She always took it upon herself to ensure that Holy Communion Lessons and First Confession Lessons were available to those who wanted to take advantage of them. Her day was never done once the bell rang at 3:00 p.m. If it wasn’t extracurricular activities after school as a spiritual leader, it was to be involved in fundraisers, no matter if they were school based, community based, or to help others in need wherever they may be, such as when she organized a Bingo fundraiser to help those in Haiti, and her involvement in the Helping Hands concert fundraiser each year.

Even after I finished high school, Mrs. Foley continued to be my role model, and she still is to this day. During my University years, while I was studying to become a teacher, I came to know her not just as Mrs. Foley, my teacher, but Mary, my mentor, and now she is someone who I consider a great friend. It was a pleasure and an honour to work underneath her wing during my teaching internship.

I want her to know, and I’m sure other students feel the same way, that she is such an inspiring individual, and that I truly appreciate all of her shared experiences: such as when she advised me to not sweat the little things because eventually everything will work out one way or another. Mrs. Foley has educated me tremendously by passing on her multi-grade teaching skills—skills that have greatly benefitted me this year in filling her Grade K-5  teaching position.

I remember my first day as Mrs. Foley’s intern, and how she made me dive right in and allowed me to experience everything first-hand. She walked me through her classroom showing me her resources, and then she began discussing our Language Arts lesson for the next day and told me to be prepared. As a new teacher, and like many other teachers, we often refer to the curriculum guides for the learning outcomes being covered, but this was not the case for her. Mrs. Foley was a super-teacher, and on this particular day she rehearsed the outcomes that we were covering to me from memorization for the Language Arts lesson. I have to admit, I felt very intimidated at first, but she explained that it all comes with experience and soon I will come to know those guides like the back of my hand.

I want to thank Mrs. Foley for everything she has done for me in the past, and continues to do for me, such as providing me with her guidance in this past school year alone. I feel grateful knowing that I have someone as inspiring and experienced as Mrs. Foley to call or send an email to, whenever I am in doubt or need advice on something. For all of her dedication and hard work, she truly deserves the best of everything in her new journey following her retirement. It is now her turn to take time for herself to pursue all of the things she has always dreamed of doing, but never had a chance to do, since she was too busy dedicating her life to others.

Thank you, Mrs. Foley!

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