IN celebration of World Teacher’s Day last week, Woolworths announced local teachers Zoleka Clay and Carmen Booysen as the winners from the Eastern Cape in a nationwide Teacher’s Day competition.Clay, Joe Slovo Primary School’s head of department and Grade 1 teacher, won the primary school category while St James Secondary School’s Grade 10 to 12 Afrikaans teacher, Carmen Booysen, was the overall winner in the high school category. Both teachers were entered into the Woolworths Educational Programme and MySchool’s 2017 Teacher’s Day competition by their learners who were asked to submit a 200-word motivation that highlighted their teachers’ superpowers and described how they had changed their lives.Across the thousands of entries received by Woolworths, it was evident that both high school and primary school learners had a keen sense of what made a great teacher.In her motivation, learner Endinako Vuta highlighted how a dedicated, compassionate and generous teacher such as Clay made an important impact and not just in the classroom. Clay said that teaching means dedication, love and commitment to the development of the child. “It is also about uplifting the community through education. “Dedication means to always be knowledgeable because I need to know what is happening around me and keep up to date with changes in the educational system. “I’m always willing to go the extra mile in supporting and assisting the needy learners and render any form of assistance depending on the needs of individual learners,” she said. St James Secondary School learner, Laika Haynes described Booysen as, “The one who appreciates my efforts, the one who is always there to feed me with information that I might use one day. She saves me from this unfair life.” Haynes highlighted how teachers, who are generous in their emotional support, can truly make the difference for learners facing unrelenting hardships. “She never gives up and she never stops filling us with knowledge. “When we are going to fall, she will always reach her hand out and pull us back.”Responding to the announcement, Booysen said, “I am fulfilling God’s purpose by being a guiding light to my learners.”Both teachers received a Woolworths giftcard worth R5 000, a laptop and an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway for two in Cape Town.Meanwhile learners, Haynes and Vuta received Woolworths gift cards worth R5 000 for their winning motivation letters. The teachers’ schools were awarded a R10 000 cash prize.“This is the seventh year of the Woolies and MySchool Teacher’s Day competition and we are overwhelmed at the sheer volume of children’s heart-warming stories about their incredible teachers,” Woolworths general manager of Loyalty and MySchool Pieter Twine said. “We hope that by recognising these superhero teachers on a national platform, the competition will continue to inspire schools and communities across South Africa to deeply value the wonderful difference that a great teacher makes in the lives of many thousands of learners,” he added.