Education plays an instrumental role in a person’s life. Through a solid education, your future holds promise and the potential of success. But, what is education without teachers?
Where would society be without those special individuals taking the time to share their knowledge, whilst educating our societies future leaders?
In every school, there are teachers who have stood the test of time. Educators who have dedicated their lives to harnessing children’s potential. Four such individuals can be found in the classrooms of Newcastle High School.
As Head of Department, Mrs Malan began her teaching career in 1988. With three decades of teaching, she is a well-loved fixture at NHS.
But what does she enjoy about teaching?
“I love working with the children, seeing them reach their goals and helping them achieve their dreams. As a teacher, it is important to teach children to not be satisfied with the mediocre.”
While admitting education and the syllabus has changed over the years, she is still as passionate about her career as when she first began.
What many don’t know about Mrs Malan, is that after finishing her schooling, she nearly pursued another career. “I wanted to become either an actress or a teacher. However, I didn’t like the way the drama people acted and I became a teacher.”
With a vast amount of experience, she has advice which can benefit both teachers, children and parents,
“For young teachers, you must do it because you have a passion for teaching. Because if you do it for the money, you are in for a shock.
You must do it because you love teaching. Without teachers, there would be no doctors, plumbers, engineers or lawyers.”
For children, Mrs Malan advises them to work hard in order to reach their full potential.
“For parents, it is important for you to be there for your child. Do not spoil them. Also be involved in their school activities, as non-involvement plays a role in a child’s education. Children need love, support and the involvement of their parents.
Mrs Lowery has been a member of the NHS staff for 23 years. Her love for teaching never wavering.
“I love seeing the children’s’ faces light up when they understand something. It is also rewarding when they do well in tests and exams. It feels like you have done something right.”
Mrs Lowery claims she also loves seeing a child who despised learning develop and start doing well academically.
Her passion for teaching comes from her father. “My dad taught me at school and he was really good, inspiring me to become a teacher as well.”
As with everything else in the world, Mrs Lowery admits education has changed. One of the ways she claims it has changed is that some children are less motivated to perform well than in previous years. “This might be because the pass rate has dropped, but as teachers, it is important for us to motivate the children to want to learn.”
Through her passion for her career, she advises upcoming teachers to always work hard. “It is also important to remember the children’s names and take the time to get to know them, as they do appreciate it.”
Lowery also advises children to do their daily school work, limit their cell phone time and do well in the exams. As this will benefit them in the future.
Parents, Lowery advises, must become more involved in the school and their children. “Check their school work from time to time and don’t always believe them when she says they don’t have homework,” she laughs.
Mrs Liebenberg, the deputy principal, is one of the oldest serving staff members at NHS. For the past 39 years, she has seriously dedicated her life to education.
“I truly enjoy the lessons and the children. To me, teaching is a calling. I have never turned a child away, as I believe each child is there for a reason and we as teachers have a responsibility to the children.”
This responsibility is not only teaching a child information pertaining to their respective subjects. “You have to teach between the lines at times and focus on the importance of values and character building.”
With nearly an impressive four decades of teaching at NHS, Mrs Liebenberg says the experience has been a journey. “I could not have done it without the guidance of God. Also, irrespective of the challenges, it has been a joy.”
For those who plan on becoming teachers, Mrs Liebenberg says one needs to have a passion and take teaching seriously.
“You also need to be mentally and physically fit. It is also always good to do proper planning and preparation to be one step ahead.”
She advises children that while the road to success is always under construction, it is important to never give up. “Also, surround yourself with people who add value to your life.”
Mrs Liebenberg encourages parents to become more involved in their children’s lives. “If a parent isn’t there for their child, someone else might be. That person might just be the wrong type of person.”
Being involved in a child’s life means more than clothing, feeding and giving them food to eat. Mrs Liebenberg reminds parents it means being there for a child emotionally as well.
Mrs Anderson’s journey with NHS began in 1973. “I was a learner here, from Grade 8 to Grade 12. I then went to study and came back as a teacher.”
Teaching at NHS for 36 years, as well as being an old learner, Mrs Anderson is truly a part of the school. “I enjoy being able to influence young lives, not just academically, but in their lives as a whole and seeing them succeed.”
As a teacher, she feels educators play an instrumental role in the world. “Without a teacher to help learners harness their potential, it is not going to happen. Our biggest job is to make children want more for their lives and to learn more.”
However, she admits there are challenges within teaching. “Discipline and motivation are becoming less and some children are not interested in making the best of themselves.”
For those wishing to pursue a career in teaching, Mrs Anderson says it is not the easiest of careers. “It’s hard, takes dedication and it is frustrating at days, but as long as you focus, you can see the change in the children and find it in yourself to continue.”
She also advises children to understand and appreciate the opportunities they are given. “It is also important to listen, teachers know their subjects and they can help push you in the right direction in life.”
Mrs Anderson also reminds parents that their children are not mere objects to drop off at school. “You have to be involved with your child, as this helps teachers assist your child in reaching their full potential.”
With these four teachers giving their lives to education, the Newcastillian commends their dedication. You are a true inspiration.