uMgungundlovu teachers honoured for going the extra mile for pupils

2018-11-30 15:37
uMgungundlovu District teachers Gugu Mkhize and Tamara Cameron, who were awarded for their excellence in the classroom at the provincial National Teaching Awards.

uMgungundlovu District teachers Gugu Mkhize and Tamara Cameron, who were awarded for their excellence in the classroom at the provincial National Teaching Awards. (Nokuthula Khanyile)

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Three teachers from the uMgungundlovu District scooped top awards for their excellent work at the provincial leg of the National Teaching Awards.

The teachers — Gugu Mkhize from Newton Pre-Vocational School, Tamara Cameron of Nottingham Road Primary School and Lungisani Ngubane from Banqobile Secondary School — received their awards from KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane at a ceremony at the Royal Showgrounds on Thursday.

Dlungwane said: “Very few other professions are as future-orientated as teaching. It takes a special type of person with unique skills and attitude to excel in teaching. We celebrate your effort knowing very well that teachers operate in very difficult environments. Society is at times very stressful for our teachers.”

Newton Pre-Vocational School’s Mkhize won first place in Excellence in Secondary School leadership. She told The Witness that she was very excited to be acknowledged for her efforts.

Mkhize, who has been a deputy principal at the school for three years, said the win would encourage her to work harder to show that she deserved to win.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher. It’s in me. I have always enjoyed enlightening young minds. I knew all the other candidates were worthy winners.

“I was not expecting to win but I knew that I had done well during the interview process,” she said.

Mkhize said she worked with pupils with an array of special needs.

“Most of them come from poor backgrounds and they need love and compassion so that they can strive to become better people.

“I believe that the teaching methods help to assist them in grasping the curriculum.”

Cameron, a Grade R teacher at Nottingham Road, won first place for Excellence in Grade R teaching.

“I’m still very shocked and overwhelmed. I can’t get over the fact that I’ve won, it’s amazing,” she said.

Cameron said to be a teacher, your heart has to be in the right place.

“You need patience. If you are just doing it for the money, you are going to be very unhappy.

“You don’t get remunerated for the additional hours of preparation that you put in. I’m constantly working until 11 pm some nights, preparing for the next day.”

The 30-year-old from Howick said from a young age, she has always been uplifting young minds.

“Children have always been a passion for me. While I had different career choices, it always went back to teaching.

“A lot of it had to do with my aunt who is now a deputy principal in Howick, she encouraged me to want to make a difference in the children’s lives.”

Cameron said the biggest reward is when her pupils excel.

“They come into your classroom and they can’t do X, Y and Z but by the end of the classroom they have excelled beyond your expectations.

“It’s fulfilling beyond any silverware.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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