When school reopens on 1 October we will, almost immediately, celebrate World Teacher Day.
This event takes place every year on 5 October and, here in South Africa, it all too often falls in the short
holidays and goes by without any notice. This isn’t the case at Port Alfred High where we truly value the
hard work, commitment, love and time that our teachers invest in our learners.
World Teacher Day aims to give the world a better understanding of teachers and the role they play in
the development of students and society. It also generates awareness about teacher issues and reinforces the ethic that teachers
are to be respected.
Get Googling and you will read that teaching is the profession that creates all other professions. Teachers change the world one
child at a time. Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that grow forever. Great teachers inspire greatness. A teacher takes a hand,
opens a mind and touches a heart. Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges and teaching is
like trying to hold 30 corks underwater all at the same time.
As I near retirement, I can tell you that as a teacher you laugh, you grieve; you work harder than you ever thought possible and
some days you do manage to make a difference and other days you’re really counting down to the holidays. But, if your calling
is to be a teacher then your heart is full and your mind is crammed with memories of kids who have changed your life.
You know your worth as an agent of change. I can also tell you that teachers are not perfect. Even though there is seldom any “off”,
we are not machines. We do our best and, quite often, that falls short. Teachers make mistakes and sometimes they need help.
I can also tell you that teachers need other teachers and teachers need support. Teachers give all the time and they never stop caring.
In the words of Henry Adams, a teacher affects eternity; s/he can never tell where his or her influence stops.
To our learners, I ask you to take a moment and appreciate your teachers at Port Alfred High.
To our parents, I ask you to support our teachers. And to our teachers, I ask you to give yourselves a pat on the back and know that
you are valued for all that you do for our learners as well as for our children.