It’s not just a job
It’s not just a job
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
I was watching Karen as she prepared her end-of-year gift for the Owl Class parents. She’s a pre-school teacher, and every year she puts together a DVD of memories of her class for the parents. This year she was in tears as she watched the DVD, sobbing that “these are my babies, and I won’t see them again...” It was touching to see a teacher that cares so much for each individual child.

I know not every teacher has the time (or even the inclination) to get to know each child, but there are some wonderful teachers out there. Some of these will have an impact on your child’s life that lasts forever. A simple value such as honesty or respect being reinforced by a teacher can make all the difference, especially when it’s being instilled at home.

Whenever we go out to the shops or markets, we bump into Karen’s past pupils (and parents). It’s astounding, but she can remember these kids years later. She’s been teaching for 22 years, so you can imagine how much of an impact she has made: I’ve seen grown women coming to her and thanking her for her teaching. How many of you can remember your teachers, especially your pre-school teachers?

At my daughter’s prize-giving ceremony I was watching the expressions on her teacher’s faces. Those teachers were just as proud of the children for achieving as the parents! They were whispering quietly to each other, commenting on the characters they’d grown to know among their pupils. Not in a nasty way, but with humour and fondness. They’ll miss the ones who are leaving the school to go to high school or leaving Matric forever.

I reckon that these teachers sometimes stay awake at night wondering how to help their kids more. That they treat their responsibility towards their classes with reverence, knowing that they can help to change lives. Sometimes these awesome teachers work at schools with no resources other than their own passion to teach.

We occasionally tease teachers that they’re just in the job for the long holidays, but I think they deserve every hour of holiday they have earned.

So I’d like to thank our teachers for serving our children this year. If you’re home-schooling, you may also receive that. I hope that you all have a fantastic break from the books.

Do you know of a brilliant teacher who has had an impact on your child’s life (or even yours, when you were a child)? Tell us the story, and you could win a R250 voucher! Email us:

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