Stalwart trades teaching hat for dance shoes

A teacher at Delta Primary School in Steenberg will be leaving the profession after more than four decades at the school.

Claudine Little, 61, a Grassy Park resident, has taught at the school for 43 years but decided it was time to rest and spend more time with her family.

The Grade 3 teacher will be trading in her teacher’s hat for knitting pins, garden tools and dancing shoes.

Although she will not completely leave the profession – as she will be helping out as a tutor at an organisation in Lavender Hill – Ms Little said she realised earlier this year that 61 was a good age to retire.

“I always told myself I would retire at 60. Then last year I just didn’t feel that I was ready. This year, however, I could feel my body was becoming weaker and tired and that was a sign that I should retire,” said Ms Little.

“Even though teaching is my life and my passion, I simply cannot go on. I’ve been teaching for a lifetime and I’ve given my life to Delta Primary and all the pupils that I taught but it is time for me to rest,” she said. Ms Little has been through seven principals.

Current principal Hilton Palanyandi said Ms Little would leave a void at the school.

“She’s truly shown the school grace, wisdom, dedication and she’s shown her passion for the children,” said Mr Palanyandi.

“I want to salute her. She is going to be truly missed by her colleagues and especially by her children who have grown to love her tremendously because she gave affection and support,” he said. “I hope that she enjoys her retirement because she has worked hard to earn her reting time.”

Ms Little will be taking up ballet for seniors and will be spending as much time with her two children and three grandchildren.

“I wish the school well and I wish my pupils well and my message to them is to strive for their dreams because I know they are capable of so much,” she said.