International Teacher’s Day: celebs share their favourite memories of their teachers
Today is International Teacher’s Day and we need to celebrate. Why? You ask? Well without teachers most of us would not be where we are today.
The day was set up in 1994 and celebrates the contribution teachers make to education and development across the world. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the theme for Teacher’s Day this year is: “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”. Teachers often gave us great school memories whether they were strict or not but in some way or the other they made an impact.
We spoke to five celebrities on their school experience and the impact their favourite teacher had on their lives.
Actress Celeste Khumalo thinks back to her school days at Park Town Girls High as something sweet and full of passion. Celeste had two favourite teachers which influenced her life. The first one was her French teacher Dr Van Vuuren. “She instilled in me the fact that the world is such big place and some of the challenges we face in high school are still quite small yet they prepare you for the world, she always taught me to follow my dreams.”
Her second favourite teacher goes by the name of Ms Horwitz who was her history teacher, she inspired her to always push. She mentions how school impacted her life, “My favourite memory about school was just finding an extra mural activity that I really felt at home with, I really felt these activities spoke to me and pushed my passion. It allowed me to dream. French, dancing and pottery were some of her favourites,” she says.
Langa attended the National School of the Arts and recalls his history teacher as his favourite who gave him some tough love.
“My history teacher Mrs Lucas was not the nicest lady in school, she was really strict, piled on the homework and give us 2000 word essays but she always pushed me because she could see my potential,” he says. The biggest lesson he learnt from her was that going the extra mile will never hurt you but in fact benefit you. A favourite memory of his was the first assembly of every year. “Our deputy principal would always start with a speech where he would say ‘The year has ended good people’ and we would always laugh because it’s the first day so what do you mean? But looking back it just spoke about how quick this journey would be. It spoke to the fact that your time here is limited so use it wisely,” says Langa.
The Queen actress, Michelle Mosalakae says that one of her favourite teachers is actually one of the reasons she went into professional acting. Her drama teacher Christo Potgieter from St. Mary's Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria helped her see that her passion for acting could be something great. “I think that teachers are obviously very important in the education system in general and carry a lot of responsibilities and have a huge impact on our lives. Mr Potgieter was one of the teachers able to realise how different learners learn differently,” she says.
School allowed her to be her true self and encouraged her craft. She mentions however that although teachers are very important for society they also need to stay with the times.
“Learners really look to their teachers for a lot of guidance and I think it’s always important for quality teachers to upgrade and become aware of the world in which their learners live in,” she says.
Kim Jayde Robinson
For MTV base presenter, Kim Jayde Robinson her favourite teacher created a safe haven for her while at Girls College in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
A teacher by the name of Mrs Payne was more like family to Kim, “She honestly felt more like family than anything else. I struggled with bullies in school, so during break time instead of forcing me to go outside she would allow me to stay inside the class to read and draw and avoid the mean girls outside,” she says. She describes high school as a place of discovery where she got to experience cultural activities; this helped her build confidence to become the woman she is today.
Actor and singer Nicholas Nkuna was inspired by his late teacher Mr FJ Ngobeni from Thembeka High School in Nelspruit. “He taught me so much and one lesson from him that has stayed with me until today was that money can’t buy love and while he isn’t here today his lessons helped succeed in the life I have today. You know teachers have a lot to deal with; we need to commend and celebrate them for all they do. They are the ones who shape us from a tender age,” says Nicholas. A favourite memory for him was being part of the choir.
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