Kindergarten teacher Penny Palmer, surrounded by her two-day group at Leichhardt Community Kindergarten, is retiring after 37 years.
Kindergarten teacher Penny Palmer, surrounded by her two-day group at Leichhardt Community Kindergarten, is retiring after 37 years. MEGAN LEWIS Ml

Mrs Palmer retires after 37 years

PENNY Palmer has smiled down on more than 1000 kids during her colourful teaching career.

She helped to establish Rockhampton’s first two state preschools and she’s always encouraged creativity in everyday learning.

It’s a big day for Mrs Palmer, who retires today after 37 years.

It’s been an enjoyable career for the passionate kindergarten teacher who now plans to use up all her frequent flyer points to visit her new grandchild in Adelaide.

Mrs Palmer, 59, moved to Rockhampton in 1973 where worked to open the city’s first two state pre-schools at Frenchville and Allens town.

She is also one of the last graduates of the Kindergarten Teachers College to still be teaching.

She’s been working for Leichhardt Community Kindergarten, a branch of C&K Pre-schooling professionals, for 11 years.

Mrs Palmer has never wanted to teach any other level.

“It gives me an opportunity to pursue my passion with children,” she said yesterday.

“Here we have an emergent curriculum – my love is integrating the arts such as drama, puppetry and pottery – that way it is more open ended.

“I like to foster creativity.”

Mrs Palmer says she’s seen many changes in early childhood teaching during her career.

One of the most significant and concerning to her is the increase in children with serious allergies and speech and language problems.

She said demanding behaviour was also a growing issue.

Mrs Palmer said she has been known as a firm teacher who works on the concept that reasonable limits should be set and balanced out with fun time.

In her retirement she hopes to start focusing back on her own creativity.

She had an official farewell a few weeks ago where former pupils and their parents celebrated with her.



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