A love for ‘little readers’

2017-11-28 06:00
Teacher Patricia de Lillie with learners of Levana Primary School.PHOTO: Ociano Marasha

Teacher Patricia de Lillie with learners of Levana Primary School.PHOTO: Ociano Marasha

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A teacher of Levana Primary School in Lavender Hill is hanging up her teaching cloak after 41 years in the classroom.

Patricia de Lillie (60) began her teaching career in 1977. Growing up she always wanted to be a nurse because she loved helping people, but her father, who was a chief inspector of education for coloured affairs back then, inspired by her to become a teacher.

She started her teaching career at Princess Vlei for five years.

“The community was still very poor at that time,” she recalls.

De Lillie then taught at Blouvlei School for a year. She says the school was also poor.

“The school had broken windows and the class was full of dust but all that didn’t bother me. I loved teaching and the difference I was going to make in the lives of these ­children.”

She moved to Levana Primary thereafter.

For 15 years she taught Grade 2 and then Grades 1 and 3.

In a staff meeting one day the school principal told De Lillie that she had a motherly instinct and from then she stayed a Grade 1 teacher.

De Lillie has been teaching Grade 1 for 12 years now.

“I really enjoyed teaching. My passion for teaching really lay in the foundation phase and I enjoyed seeing the children develop their learning skills and being little readers and writers,” she says.

De Lillie says what fulfils her is that children who have gone through her hands have become doctors, pilots, managers and ­lawyers.

“That makes me feel good because I also had a hand in building them.”

Besides teaching she also did catering at Levana Primary for over 30 years. She has a small group of teachers helping her.

“I must say it is not an easy task to satisfy all the teachers but I enjoy what I’m doing,” she says.

In 2008 she started a Wordworks homework programme and has seen good results.

She says there are memories that will last her a lifetime and she can’t sum it up in words.

She is very grateful for school principal Andre Lamprecht, the other staff members and the learners, “especially the naughty ones”.

She cannot wait to travel the world with her sister and her husband.

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