We asked a few schools here in the Midlands about some special teachers who are near and dear to their hearts. Read more below about what they each share about how they became a teacher and the difference it has made in their lives.

Teachers have always been one constant in our lives, especially growing up. Our school days have come and gone with so many teachers passing us by, from grade to grade. But, there is always that “one” teacher that somehow manages to stick with us. Even as we are growing older, we still remember them, and that is the power that a special teacher has – it is life-changing. This article is our homage, so to say, to some special teachers from the Midlands – let us not pass them by.


St. John’s D.S.G.

Mrs Anneleen Pillay is another special teacher at St. John’s D.S.G. She teaches Afrikaans at the Senior School. We asked her about her career path as a Teacher. “I have a flair for languages so I majored in English and Afrikaans. Teaching seems to run in my blood – I come from a long line of Teachers. It seemed like the obvious choice for me. I have always loved children and influencing young minds is quite satisfying.

I have taught at several schools over the past 23 years. My favourite subjects to teach are Afrikaans, History and Life Orientation. When it comes to Afrikaans, when a learner battles with the subject and often says “I can’t do this,” my response is often “If I can learn the subject, then so can you.” I also loved teaching History and my favourite quote is “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

I admired my Grade 1 Teacher from the very first day of school. She always had a kind word for everyone and although she was firm, she never raised her voice. In high school, my favourite teachers were my History and Afrikaans Teachers. I aspire to be like them when I teach. They always took the time to ensure that we understood what was taught.

I regard my students as young adults who also have a voice and want to be heard. I love to get to know them and where they come from, who they are, and learn about their character. A must is learning names. Learners should know they are people, important people. I stress truthfulness and respect as a two-way street. Listening to understand is also very important to me. The presence that a Teacher creates in the classroom sets the atmosphere for teaching and learning to take place. Being happy, feeling as though they are a part of the class and laughter are all important aspects of my lessons.”




Howick High School 

Dr Botshiwe Likwambe, the Head of the Mathematics Department at Howick High School, has been an Educator for 29 years. In addition to teaching Mathematics, she is a Grade Tutor, a Netball Coach, a First Aider, and a timetable wizard. In 2018, Dr Likwambe achieved her career goal of obtaining her PhD in Mathematics Education and was invited to be a member of the International Golden Key Society.

Dr Likwambe did not set out to be a Teacher and began her training to be a Chemical Engineer straight out of High School. Whilst working in a mine laboratory, it was discovered that the chemicals were severely affecting her health. She chose to pursue a teaching degree instead and specialised in Mathematics.

She was inspired by her own Mathematics Teacher, who fostered her love of numbers and always encouraged his learners to work hard. She was fortunate to have him as her mentor when completing her Teaching practical. She was also motivated by her mother; an uneducated lady who knew the value of education and her university mentor, Professor Iben Christiansten. Both women, one uneducated and one highly educated, were her role-models.

Dr Likwambe believes that education has many layers. Firstly, the classroom should be a safe environment where learners feel free to learn and where they trust their Teacher with the learning process. Then, in that classroom, they should have teaching materials which are used in the best way possible for each learner to achieve their learning goals. At the end, having been taught conceptual understanding, learners should have developed into thinkers and not followers.

Dr Likwambe pays tribute to her Mathematics colleagues at Howick High School. They all work together, pulling in the same direction to achieve the same goal of producing critical thinkers. When the NSC results are released, the whole department celebrates the learners’ achievements as they all worked to get them to that point together.

In addition to teaching at Howick High School, Dr Likwambe has lectured at the University of KwaZulu-Natal since 2008, assisting educators who are upgrading their Teaching qualifications to the Advanced Certificate in Education and more recently those who are working towards achieving their PGCE qualification. She also teaches a group of learners from the Umgungundlovu district, who are selected by their schools as ‘high flyers’.




Anita Msimango teaches STEAM at Treverton College. We asked her a few questions about her Teaching career, how she developed and became an outstanding Teacher, among many other roles we must add. “I “fell” into Teaching by accident. After completing an Executive Secretarial Course at Varsity College, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had heard about an opportunity for a Teaching Internship. I thought I had better apply. The day before school started for 2002; I got a phone call to take up the internship and took it immediately. After the first two weeks, I knew this was what I was born to do.

Through the Teacher Internship Programme, I was afforded the opportunity to study Teaching through UNISA. It took me five years to complete my degree while working as a Border Mistress, Sports Coach, and Teacher Assistant. During my Teaching time over the last 15 years, I have been fortunate to discover my favourite subjects to teach. I qualified with majors in English, Social Sciences, and Afrikaans, but I have found a passion for teaching Afrikaans, Natural Science, and Mathematics over the years. Currently, I teach STEAM, and I get to use my creative abilities every day to inspire the children I teach.

The biggest influences in my teaching career have been two educators I worked alongside. The first was when I was starting my internship. Peter Quinn from Clifton Preparatory in Nottingham Road believed in me and encouraged me to pursue Teaching when I began questioning if education was for me. The second was my previous Headmaster at Treverton Preparatory School, John Huggett. John trusted me and gave me the freedom to develop the position I am currently in as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) teacher.

As a teacher, I believe in developing children to achieve their potential. The most effective way to do this is through relationships, discipline, and fairness. Every child has potential, but it is my role as a teacher to find and ignite what a child is good at and help them use the confidence gained in these areas to become successful at school. As much as I love the creative role I have, I also love academic classroom teaching. I have been lucky this year to have both of those opportunities. I have taught Grade 6 Afrikaans and enjoyed the more formal classroom setting for those lessons.”





Cordwalles recognises the importance of staff development and as a school, we are committed to providing opportunities for our staff to upskill themselves. Therefore, we are so proud of the following staff members.

Mr Thulani Dlamini – IT Assistant & isiZulu Teacher For as long as I can remember and throughout my school years, I have never experienced such a compassionate, wonderful, caring, and affectionate environment as Cordwalles. During my time at Cordwalles, I have learned to persevere in many given tasks or situations. For the first two years, I worked hard cleaning gutters, sweeping the veranda, and working in the garden. For the last six years, I have been teaching isiZulu to Grade 1 to Grade 4 boys, assisting in the I.T department, in the Boarding House, and coaching sport. I now look forward to my future and thank those who recognised the potential in me and helped me find my passion in teaching. I thank the team of teachers who inspired me to be the best that I can be.

Mr Thobani Ndlela – Intern Teacher & Border Master My name is Thobani Ndlela, I am from Kwa-Mpumuza in a village called Laduma. I attended Tetelegu Primary School and Laduma High School where I passed my matric. After I passed my matric, I was unable to go to University because of affordability but instead, I decided to do a course in the security industry. In 2012 to 2019, I joined Red Alert as a Security Officer working at Cordwalles Preparatory School where I found love and acceptance.

In 2017, while I was a Security Officer with Red Alert, I studied through UNISA doing an ABET (Adult Basic Education and Training). After I graduated from this course, I started a Bachelor of Education also through UNISA. While proudly standing guard at the gate there were many times that I had interaction with the staff, and it was during that time that the seed was planted to join the staff at Cordwalles. In 2020 my dream was achieved, and I was very fortunate to join the school as a Grade 6 Intern Teacher. This year, I am an Intern Teacher in the senior primary, a sports coach and now I have the chance of being a Border Master. My journey has been very fulfilling, and the staff have been very supportive.

Mrs Carol Ndlovu – Pre-Primary Teacher & isiZulu Teacher I started in 1998 helping Mrs Bastard (who was the San sister at the time) to look after her grandson. After two years of part-time work, I was employed full-time at Cordwalles. In the mornings I was cleaning and then in the afternoons, I was part of the Aftercare staff. Not too long after, I started helping in the classrooms and continued with Aftercare in the afternoons.

Between 2008-2011, I completed my diploma in Early Childhood Development Diploma. From then onwards, I have been more involved in classroom activities and lessons and now I teach isiZulu to boys in Grades RRR to R. I really enjoy being part of the Cordwalles staff. It has been an amazing experience and I am grateful for all the opportunities.