Inspired learners praise teachers

A local teacher has been acknowledged in celebration of World Teacher’s Day, observed this month.

Ezra Carelse, a teacher at Caradale Primary School in Rocklands, was the overall third place winner of the 2018 Woolworths National Teacher’s Day competition.

Carelse, described as an inspiring teacher with compassion and the willingness to go the extra mile to support at-risk students, was nominated for the Educational Programme and MySchool’s 2018 Teacher’s Day competition by one of his learners, Kamvelihle Jack.

This year, a record-breaking 33 835 entries were received from schoolchildren across South Africa who felt inspired to submit a 200-word motivation about the teacher who has made a life-changing difference in their lives.

In telling their heart-warming, and often heart-wrenching stories, learners highlighted that there are a great many devoted teachers in South Africa. They recognised and expressed appreciation towards teachers who regularly go beyond the call of duty, not just to inspire and help children learn, but to provide invaluable emotional support to those in the grip of traumatic and devastating childhood events.

In her motivation letter, Jack, a Grade 6 learner at Caradale Primary, relates how losing her family home devastated her. It was Carelse who insisted she was as worthy as ever, and, out of his own pocket helped her family with food and school necessities.

She credits him with the ongoing inspiration to rise above her circumstances and achieve her potential.

The annual Teacher’s Day Competition aims to encourage learners, parents and schools to recognise and reward those teachers in their midst who provide an extraordinary service every day in their communities.

As one of the eight national finalists and third place national winner, Carelse won a laptop, a R10 000 Woolworths gift card and a R5000 cash prize, and enjoyed an all-expenses-paid getaway with a partner to Sandton, Gauteng.

Jack received a R5000 Woolworths gift card, and Caradale Primary School was awarded a R10 000 cash prize.

“It’s so important for us to acknowledge South Africa’s ‘ordinary heroes’ like Mr Carelse,” says Pieter Twine, Woolworths general manager of Loyalty and MySchool. “Woolworths congratulates him for his outstanding contribution to his community and our country. We also thank Kamvelihle and her school for participating in the Woolworths Teacher’s Day competition. In 2018, the eighth year of the competition, the entries increased dramatically by 175%. That’s testimony to the fact that South Africa has many heroic and inspirational teachers who are shaping lives for the better every day. In our decades of supporting the upliftment of education in our schools, Woolworths has first-hand experience of these amazing teachers who bring hope each day through their deep commitment to our young generation.”

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