He introduced himself to me as Johan. But I only ever addressed him by his first name once, and it felt horribly wrong. Since then, he’s always been “Mr Volsteedt” to me. On occasion, I’ve found myself calling him “sir” – and I’m not the only one! I’ve caught many of the camera crew and production doing the same.
You see, Mr Volsteedt is one of the few people I’ve met in my life that I respected instantly. This surprised me. I’ve always felt that respect should be earned. But Mr Volsteedt seems to exude the kind of dignity and leadership that you can help but look up to.
He can be tough – we’ve seen this on the show before. He’s come down hard on the kids for smoking, tardiness, and general lack of interest in certain lessons. But through my observations, I’ve come to believe that he’s not predisposed to strictness – I think he forces himself to give the kids tough love because he knows they need it sometimes. At heart, though, he’s just a big softie.
He was originally studying law, but switched to teaching when he realised there was no other job for him. “I wanted to become a teacher to work with kids. I love them,” he told me simply.
He’s come to love the MySchool Dream School kids, and I know that from here on in, he’s going to make a place for himself in their lives. He hates that a lot of the horrible things some of them have gone through have been brought about by their own families.
“I really believe that kids are just kids,” he told me once. “Circumstances change kids. And bad choices change kids. And if there’s one thing they must take away from here, they must make the right choices from here on in.”
With Mr Volsteedt in their lives from now on, I think they will.
YOU writer Kirstin Buick had a bird’s eye view of the goings-on on the set of Dream School. Keep up to date with her weekly blog for exclusive behind-the-scenes info. Follow her on Twitter for more.
Catch MySchool Dream School every Sunday at 5 pm on M-Net, M-Net HD, Mzanzi Magic and M-Net Series Channel.