This post is based on a PostADay2011 topic: Write about your least favorite school teacher I actually want to write about my most favourite school teacher. I may come back to this later, but I have to give props to Mrs. Bonnie Tufford, my grade 4 and 5 teacher at Wellington Square in Burlington, Ontario.
The biggest thing that sticks in my mind is the “city” that she set up within the classroom that taught us about responsibility, democracy, business and still made it fun.
Every student in the class was a citizen of “Tufford Town”. There were elected positions, such as the mayor, councillors, janitors and treasurers. Then there were businesses such as erasers, pencils and notebooks.
The elected officials earned a salary at the end of the week and the businesses would purchase items from Mrs. Tufford and then sell it at a reasonable markup.
Even if you didn’t hold one of the above positions, you could earn “Tufford Town Class Cash” by keeping your desk clean and other non-academic related activities. You could use your cash to purchase notebooks, etc. or you might get fined for having a messy desk!
Half way through the year, she would switch up the roles so that more people would have an opportunity. Elections were held, posters, speeches and all. It was voluntary, but we all had the opportunity.
At the end of the year, people brought in things for a silent auction, everything from candy to something that you got for Christmas that you don’t need anymore.
The beauty about this set up was that no one actually used their own real world money. No one was ever excluded, and I don’t know of anyone who didn’t enjoy it.
Thank you Mrs. Tufford. You really made an impression on me. You were my favourite and always will be. I’ll try to find my class picture so you can see her. I wonder where she is today…
what a surprise to see my name when I was challenged to check to see if I existed on google!!! This letter took me back to the fun of Tufford Town and all that the kids learned that year and the other years that I used this concept. I am not sure who wrote the article but thank you very much for your kind words.
I am now remarried and at present living in Innisfil, just east of Barrie, right by Lake Simcoe. My plan is to return eventually to the Burlington area in the coming years so I can be closer to my kids and grandkids (6) . I have been retired now for 10 years after teaching for 35 years. I was one of the lucky ones who absolutely loved teaching and getting to know so many interesting children who I am sure grew up to be the mature version of the delightful person I was privileged to know. Thank you again for the trip down memory lane Bonnie Tufford Ellis
WOW! It’s me, Shanta Nathwani who wrote the article. I was in your last Grade 5 class at Wellington Square. Amazing how small the world is! You really made an impression on me and I’m sure many of my classmates. Sounds like you’ve been busy despite being retired for 10 years. I was inspired to write this for two reasons: 1. An article in the Toronto Star recently and 2. the “Post A Day” Challenge from WordPress. Glad that you remember all of us, because I certainly remember you!
Would you be kind enough to give me Bonnie’s e-mail address. I went to high school with Bonnie and would like to get in touch with her again. Thanks so much.
This is amazing!! It brought back so many memories. I also remember using ‘class cash’ for a silent auction in which Steve Cairins and I were competing against a stuffed Garfield doll with Odie attached lol. It was brought in by Katy Durdan, whose father I remember was working at what I called ‘the toy factory’ back then. Ms. Tufford was my favorite teacher also. I have often thought about her throughout the years and have many fond memories of Wellington Square! Thanks for writing this article Shanta 🙂
Kelly LaHaie Burridge
I hope you re-visit this article. It’s Errin Dawson and would love to hear from you
Hi Bonnie. Trying to find you on Facebook with no luck. Errin Dawson (Errington Mackie is trying also.
I’ve just created a FB Group for our classes since I was so fortunate to have Mrs. Tufford for both Grade 4 and 5. It can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212682092107970