Dedicated Cape teacher honoured with radio station’s Teacher of the Year award
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Cape Town - Come Monday, a dedicated and committed teacher will be honoured at a special prize giving after scooping a Teacher of the Year award from a local radio station.
Jeremy Dietsiso, 27, beat out 10 finalists to win R15 000 and R10 000 for his high school from Kfm 94.5 and Pick n Pay School Club.
The much-loved natural science and life science teacher at Silversands High School was nominated for the excellent work he does at school but also in the community of Happy Valley.
Last year, Weekend Argus featured Dietsiso, who was brought up in a difficult environment, and today, he is reaping the rewards of his struggle.
“I always wanted to be a heart surgeon at high-school level. Coming from a background of dire poverty and being raised by a single parent, I must say that life was tough growing up. It was so bad in our household that I fainted at school because of hunger. God sent teachers on my path to save me. And today, I am not only a heart surgeon but also a brain surgeon. I regard myself as an education surgeon because I have the opportunity to shape the heart and brain of thousands of pupils,” he said.
Dietsiso, from Blackheath, said to win the Teacher of the Year competition is a humbling experience.
“I believe that every teacher deserves to be nominated. I feel that it is a great initiative from Kfm, because so many times, the heroic deeds of teachers are not rewarded and this competition just adds so much more value to our noble profession.
“I am passionate about teaching because so many great teachers taught me. So many teachers helped and contributed to my emotional and spiritual well being, but one specific teacher, Mrs Valerie Esterhuizen, showed me the true essence of what it is to be a teacher. Her love, care and humility led me to changing my career prospects. I always said that if that is what a teacher is then I want to be one,” he said.
His advice to those interested in teaching is find your passion.
“This career is not for the faint-hearted. Do not allow older, more experienced teachers to kill your hunger for wanting to do more. Your passion will sustain you on those days when you do not feel like waking up.”
One of Dietsiso’s closest friends, Roslynn Alexander, said they were in the same class since Grade 8 at Tuscany Glen High School.
“He helped me so much during our matric year. I used to go to his home and he'd tutor me. I passed because of all his help. The kids he is teaching are truly blessed to have him as a teacher. They couldn't ask for better. I'm so happy and blessed to know him because he inspires me to believe in my dreams and to work hard for it. We don't see each other often as we live in different provinces now, but we try to keep contact and every time we talk I have so much joy in my heart,” she said.
Kfm morning host, Darren Simpson, said: “This campaign is a testament to the commitment of each and every hero teacher in this country. What an incredible acknowledgement of the profession. And what a worthy winner. Jeremy is the future of this profession.”
The prize giving will take place at Silversands High School on Monday.