We say `'Well Done" to two teachers whose full-time teaching career has come full circle

Maurien Jacobs, the principal of Blouvlei LSEN school and Doreen Parker, an educator at Levana Primary School, will be retiring at the end of this term. Between the two educators, they have served  the Steenberg-Lavender Hill community for a whopping 98 years!

Maurien Jacobs taught at Blouvlei LSEN for 16 years. For the past seven years, Maurien was the school principal of the school. Over the sixteen years Maurien travelled every school day from Wellington, a Cape Winelands town situated 85 kilometers from her school. She covered roughly 544,000 km to and from school over the sixteen years. That is about twelve times around the world! This sounds crazy, but this is what Maurien did without batting an eyelid. She would report for duty every single day at 7:15 and frown upon those who came late to school.

Maurien Jacobs 

Maurien Jacobs, School Head of Blouvlei LSEN (right) and me

 I asked Maurien what motivated her to travel her so far.

"Many people have asked me the same question, especially given the huge transport costs I had to offset. Money isn't everything. Blouvlei LSEN was my life. I was happy at the school. I love my children, the staff, the parents and the community. I could have considered taking up a post closer to home if I wanted to save money. But, would you rather save money and be unhappy at your workplace? I chose to be at Blouvlei LSEN school where I could make a difference and where I could grow as well."

Doreen Parker  

Doreen Parker, educator at Levana Primary stands proudly with School Head, Andre Lamprecht
You will never say that Doreen spent 46 years in a classroom of which thirty years were spent at Levana Primary school. She is still bubbly and she has a wicked sense of humour. She has always been involved in all aspects of school life from netball to gymnastics.

"So, you have finally decided to retire," I said.

"No, the (education) department has decided that I am ready to retire", said Doreen. "I had no choice, really. I am going to retire from teaching in the classroom, but I am definitely still going to continue teaching on other platforms. I have already been approached by organizations to assist with various educational services.  I teach Sunday school too so I will have to weigh up my options. I also want to travel now that I have more time. I want to visit all those small towns off the beaten track."

Doreen is a chatterbox. She shared how she and her group of friends travel to various places overseas and locally. The next minute we hear about her daughter, her grandchildren and her husband who has been a retiree for years.

Occasionally she would interrupt herself.

"Ooh hene, I am supposed to be on tuckshop duty. What did you say this morning, Sir? ("Sir "Andre Lamprecht is just sitting and smiling, listening to his teacher.) We must review and reflect, hey sir? And it is true; if you don't discipline your class well, you will not be able to teach well. You can't teach in a noisy class..."

At that point, the bell rang to signal the end of interval. We grab our second hug and Doreen departed to her class.

Carl Jung best sums up our praise to two giants who have helped to shape the lives of thousands of children and the communities they served:

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
— Carl Jung

Enjoy the next phase of your journey, Maurien and Doreen. Thank you for travelling along my corridors as well.


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