Kuswag Skool is sad to bid farewell to three of its teachers at the end of term two. Lizette Kemp, Estie Smith and Amanda Luyt have all moved onto the next chapter of their lives.
Estie has been at the school the longest, with 37 years under her belt, and she said it hasn’t sunk in yet that she has left. “I suppose when I lock my storeroom for the last time and hand in my keys, it will hit me,” she said.
Sixty-year-old Estie has been teaching for 39 years. Estie and her husband Andre will soon move to the Western Cape, where she will look after her 10-week-old grandchild. “I’m sure I will plan to do something else in January. I would still like to do something in education – I would still like to educate children, especially in junior primary, as they have such kinds hearts and they believe everything the teacher says,” she said with a laugh.
“I have been so blessed in my teaching career. In 39 years I have taken only five sick days. God has blessed me with good health. I’ve also been blessed with fantastic colleagues, whom I think of as friends.”
Estie was born in Durban and did her schooling at Stamford Hill Primary and Durban Hoerskool. She went on to study teaching at Dokkies. “I always wanted to teach. My first post was teaching special education in Stanger for two years. I then moved to Kuswag when it was still prefab containers. The school then moved to where Toti Primary is now, and then back to our original place much later.”
Estie, who was also the acting vice-principal for 18 months, taught grade 3, grade 2 for 24 years, and finished with the grade 1s. She said over the years she has noticed a huge change in parents, children and technology when it comes to teaching. “It’s incredible what you can do now in a classroom with technology.”
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Estie and Andre have four children – Adele (39), Paul (37), and Estie (29) and Andrie (24), who are both teachers – and five grandchildren. She will look after Andrie’s daughter. “I also want to enrol in a book club, do needlework and do trail walking.
My time here has gone so fast but you have to leave while people still want you to stay. I’m looking forward to my retirement. When you teach with passion, you have no time for yourself. I can’t wait to do all the things I never had time to do before. This will be a change for me but I think it will be a good change.”
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