Move that body
27th February 2017
Epitome of teaching
27th February 2017

Teaching is about polishing precious gems

Teaching is not like doing any other work but is actually an act of worship, says Samodien. Photo: Supplied.

Ridwan Samodien was forced to become a teacher but today he is grateful as he works closely with the people he loves: children

I was born in Wynberg, Cape Town, 58 years ago and started my schooling at Battswood Primary School. One of my heroes was Mr Adriaans, a grade five teacher (or standard three as it was called then) who back then made a huge impact on me. Mr Adriaans was a perfectionist par excellence; he had a printing device and would print the most delightful worksheets in each learner’s book.  My peers and I would be greatly inspired and start colouring in the work, covering various subjects such as history, geography and science.

Although an extremely strict disciplinarian, Mr Adriaans had a caring heart. When my mom passed away, Mr Adriaans was the only teacher who came to sympathise with my father. I later became an art teacher because of the love of colouring in, drawing and painting that he instilled in me.

I became a teacher simply because my late father forced me to become one. At the time I was agitated by my father’s insistence, but today I am so grateful, because I simply love being surrounded by children.

Teaching, regarded by some as “going to work”, is actually an act of worship. Polishing God’s precious gems is a noble cause and I would like future teachers to see it as that, not just a way to earn a salary. It is quite clear that if we want to give our children a better chance to make it in the world today, we need to provide them with a well-rounded or holistic education. Only passionate teachers can do this. Remember that the greatest gift an adult can give to a child is the gift of education.

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