At a time when our newspapers are full of the woes of the South African education system and stories of teachers who let the children in their classes down, this book shows that this is not the whole picture; it is a celebration of heroic teachers who have struggled against great odds to give their students a chance of success.
Great South African Teachers celebrates the massive contribution of remarkable teachers, both past and present, working in South African schools. The stories, sent in by over 100 South Africans in response to advertisements placed in the Sunday Times, pay tribute to teachers who have changed lives through their passion for their subject, their dedication to the dignity of the teaching profession, and above all their determination to see the children in their classes succeed. The contributions reflect the full range of South African schools – rich schools, poor schools, white schools under apartheid, black schools under apartheid, urban schools and rural schools, schools today and schools in the past. And the contributors come from varied backgrounds: privileged children exposed to the realities of apartheid South Africa through their teachers, poor children motivated to work to break the bonds of poverty, angry children and shy children, bright children stretched to achieve their full potential and others taught the value of hard work in the pursuit of success.
Jonathan Jansen, assisted by Lihlumelo Toyana and Nangamso Koza, introduces the collection of contributions with a thought-provoking commentary on the lessons to be learnt from the tributes. Jansen identifies seven types of inspiring teacher, showing how each type works differently to bring out the best in the children in their charge.
Great South African Teachers thanks our inspiring teachers and hopes to motivate the next generation of teachers to dedicate themselves to changing lives, to changing the future.
All the royalties from this book go towards pre-service teacher bursaries at universities in South Africa. The first recipient of a bursary funded by the royalties from this book is currently studying for his Bachelor of Education degree at the University of the Free State. He will be the first graduate in his family.