Teacher of the Week: A real champion

By admin
11 November 2013

Our Teacher of the Week, Salomé Vermeulen, isn’t just an outstanding teacher but also a world champion in her own right.

Name and age:

Salomé Vermeulen (47)

What and where  do you teach?

I teach Grade 3 at Du Preez van Wyk Primary School in Bronkhorstspruit.

Why did you choose teaching as a career?

I chose teaching because I have a passion for children and want to make a contribution to every child’s emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.

Give three tips to other teachers who teach your subject/grade:

  • Allow the child in you to come out.
  • See life through the eyes of a child.
  • Communicate at their level and give unconditionally.

Give three tips to new teachers of any subject in any grade:

  • Get to know each child on his/her emotional level.
  • Give yourself time to adapt and become part of every child’s life.
  • Really listen to what children say – that’s how you get to know the children in their circumstances.

What is your favourite technological or book aid?

My favourite book is the Bible because it has so many spiritual truths with which I can equip children for life.

What inspires you as a teacher?

A smile and gratitude on a child’s face. And looking at children who were in my class years ago and realising I made a difference and added value to their lives.

Tell us briefly about your experience at the world athletics meeting in Brazil that you took part in.

On 16 October this year I left for Brazil to take part in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Porto Alegre.

After the heats in the 800 m I made it to the 800-m final. I was nervous but I knew I’d trained hard and psychologically I was well prepared. I was incredibly proud to represent my school, town and country there. I was also grateful and humble before our Heavenly Father for the talent and the opportunity to take part. I crossed the finish line first and then realised I was the world champion in the age category 45-49.

Salomé in action on the track

Five days later I came second in the 1 500 m. When I got back to school I received a hero’s welcome. Waiting for me that morning was an honour guard comprised of the headmaster, Erhard Kruger, the staff and children, all waving little South African flags. I felt like a real world champion, satisfied and happy.

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