TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPRESSION

  1. Grade 1: Teacher Annemari
    She let me read my own books when I got bored with classroom reading material. (I learned to read when I was very young.)
  2. Grade 2: Mrs van Heerden
    Embarrassed me in front of the whole class because I mispronounced the Afrikaans word for "orange".
  3. Grade 3: Teacher Mari
    I had a huge crush on her and she was nothing but nice to me.
  4. Grade 4: Teacher Trudie
    Said, "You're not made for public speaking. You should stick to your books." Had favourites and I definitely was not one of then. I get the idea she felt it was her job to cut me down to size.
  5. Grade 6: Mr Wright
    He was very encouraging and made an effort to build my self-esteem. His favourite word was "integrity" and he said if it was the only thing we learned all year, that would be okay.
  6. Grade 8 Home Room: Mrs A
    The first body-positive curvy woman I ever met. In that way, she changed my life.
  7. Grade 8 English: Ms Smith
    Taught me about feminism (the first lesson was about her title Ms). She was very strict and we were all scared of her, but she ended up being one of my biggest influences. Also she forced me to join the high school debate team.
  8. Grade 8 Geography: Mr K
    The first person to give me a B for something. A very good academic but was very out of touch with his students. Good work ethic though - he was hit by a car one morning and still came to work. The principal sent him home.
  9. Grade 9 Maths: Mrs Ispas
    A quirky Romanian lady. Our personalities CLASHED terribly. We got along eventually. She died recently of cancer.
  10. Grade 9 Science: Mr Curran
    Told us "please don't wear pink underwear to school, it disturbs my teaching."
  11. High school History: Miss Rose
    Also the very strict VP and disciplinary head of our very traditional all-girls school. She turned all our assumptions upside down when she danced the Charleston for us in one lesson, and did the splits and then a headstand in another.
  12. High school Biology: Miss Graaff
    Also the teacher in charge of the school library. We bonded over our mutual love of books. We still meet for coffee sometimes.
  13. Grade 12 science: Mr Smith
    Raging atheist, very unconventional, we adored him. He knew I was always up to speed with the work, so never called me out when I fell asleep in class.
  14. Grade 9 Phys Ed: Mrs Patrick
    I hated sports/gym and she would have none of my excuses! She really made an impression when I heard that she ran the Comrades (a 90km ultra-marathon) because she is built like me. When I took up ultra-running recently I ran with her a few times, although she is still way faster than me.
  15. Grade 12 English: Mrs Hill
    Very religious but never shoved anything down our throats. We had very heated and interesting discussions in class. She was a gentle and lovely.
  16. High school Debate coach: Mrs Felton
    Today in her 70s and she is still teaching. She was a save-the-wales gal in the 1960s, and marched for women's rights. She developed my public speaking skills and my confidence immeasurably. Built up what my primary school teachers broke down, and more. We still meet for coffee regularly.