Known for her passion for teaching and willingness to lend a helping hand to everyone, one of Levana Primary School’s stalwart teachers is retiring.
Patricia Bailey, 60, has been teaching foundation phase at the Lavender Hill school for 11 years but altogether she has spent almost 40 years in education.
She started teaching at Prince George Primary School, staying for three years and then moved on to Marine Primary for 24 years.
Ms Bailey said she knew since she was a little girl that teaching would be her career. “My father couldn’t read, so I loved helping him read and that’s where my love for teaching came from and from that moment I knew it was the career for me,” she said.
She said teaching had become more difficult over the years. “Back in the days parents were more present and involved in their children’s education, which in many cases they’re not anymore. That is my heart’s desire – for parents to become present again and to get involved with the schools.”
The circumstances in the area the school is based in also don’t make it easier, she said. “Children come to school traumatised by shootings, seeing dead bodies, abuse, neglect and many other issues so myself and other teachers try our best to make them feel safe an secure when they are in our class,” said Ms Bailey.
She said her motivation for getting up every day and coming to Levana Primary had been her love for the children. “I build relationships with my children; they are important. I’ll speak to them and they would kiss me and hug me and that is what I have always wanted – to have a relationship with my pupils.”
Ms Bailey was very involved with sports and athletics, the health promoting school forum, and events.
Asked what she will be doing with her time off, she said she wants to get involved in youth and senior activities and projects in her hometown, Strandfontein in Mitchell’s Plain. She also wants to travel and spend more time with her son and do some gardening.
She thanked all her colleagues, former principals, family and the Western Cape Education Department.
“I will miss Levana very much but it is time for me to rest,” she said.
Her hope for the school is for it to prosper. “The school has come a long way, especially under the guidance of our current principal. The sky is the limit and I know there will be more opportunities for our children and that the school is blessed even more, “ she said.
Principal André Lamprecht said Ms Bailey would be truly missed. “She was totally committed and I could always depend on her for everything and anything. We’re really going to miss her but it is a really well-deserved retirement and we wish her nothing but the best.”