A Fish Hoek teacher has been crowned the best Grade R teacher in the province by the provincial education department.
Hester Horn, or “Juffrou Hester“ as she is affectionately known at Laerskool Paul Greyling, won the Excellence in Grade R Teaching award at the 23rd Western Cape Provincial Teaching Awards on Friday September 1. The awards recognise outstanding educators in 14 categories.
“These awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the incredible work that teachers in our public schools do every day, and to recognise excellent teaching practice,” said Education MEC David Maynier at the event.
For Ms Horn, this award is a significant honour and recognition of her lifelong dedication to education.
“When you decide to dedicate your life to education, late nights and continuous studying will be par for the course, but you may not get any recognition for it. We do what we do out of the love for education and the children,” she told the Echo.
Ms Horn, who holds an Honours degree in early childhood development, was nominated by her school for the award.
“A Grade R teacher is the ideal grade to teach the way I really believe in, and that is through play, exploring with all your senses, socialising and by building good self-esteem,“ Ms Horn said.
“My life motto as a teacher is: ‘It is wonderful to be different.’ It is the most amazing calling to find joy in being part of children’s social, physical, emotional, and intellectual development.”
Ms Horn thanked Laerskool Paul Greyling for its support as well as all the parents who had entrusted their children in her care.
“To every learner who has passed through my hands – you have enriched my life in countless ways. I wish them all a beautiful future,” she said.
Laerskool Paul Greyling principal Andre Engelbrecht commended Ms Horn for her dedicated 31 years of service.
“Juffrou Hester is well respected and loved by both present and past pupils and the greater Fish Hoek community. She is part of the fibre of our school. Her graciousness and servant leadership are part of the ethics that are Laerskool Paul Greyling Primary,“ he said.
Ms Horn, one of the 14 provincial winners, will now advance to the National Teaching Awards, scheduled for Thursday October 5.