Grassy Park resident Tasneem Amlay has dedicated most of her life to teaching and feels that now is the time for her to take a break.
Ms Amlay, 60, said goodbye to Fairview Primary School in March after 41 years of teaching there under four principals who, she said, she is grateful to as they had always shown “great respect” for her.
She started teaching at Fair- view Primary School in 1975 for the foundation phase, Grade R to Grade 3, pupils.
Ms Amlay said she enjoyed her time at school because the staff were like family to her.
“The school is very special to me. It has a very good warmth and family atmosphere.”
She said she experienced no religious or racial descrimination at the school, “only respect for each other.”
Her activities at the school included helping with fundraising, accompanying prefects to camps and assisting in sports activities.
Ms Amlay believes one is never too old to learn. “I was taught a different way but the younger generation can teach me something too,” she said.
She is particularly delighted that pupils who she had taught in the foundation phase had come back to Fairview to teach.
However, Ms Amlay said it was time to be with her own family at home.
She will also be stepping aside to give the younger generation a chance to teach. “I started at a time when we still used the typewriter to type questions. But now the younger generation is more geared up with technology,” she said.
She believes teaching never ends and that there are three components to teaching. “It should be made fun for kids, then we need to consolidate and lastly revise,” said Ms Amlay, who is not the only teacher among her siblings.
“My sister Mauvinia Joseph is teaching at Buck Road Primary,” she told Southern Mail.
Born and bred in Grassy Park, Ms Amlay married her husband Mogamat Salie Amlay and had two children, Mogamat Rayaan Amlay and Lameez Amlay.
Fairview Primary School principal, Aubrey de Wet said Ms Amlay was one of his best teachers.
“She is dedicated, never absent, never sick – and she created a wonderful atmosphere at school. Children run to her for help and she has stayed in contact with many former pupils. These pupils also speak highly of her.”
He said Ms Amlay gave all her time to the families “who do not have”.
“She is very unselfish and she also shares her birthday every year with the staff.
“She will bring cake for everyone. She has a beautiful heart and we wish her well and everything of the best.”
Mr De Wet said Ms Amlay is one of many teachers retiring from the school now.
“Last year we had three teachers retiring, this year also three and next year four will retire. Many started around the same time in the 1970s, so we have teachers who taught over 30 years and more at our school.”
Many of the teachers’ children have passed the doors of Fairview Primary and their children’s children too.
“There is a good cameraderie here and it is like a family school on an educational and personal level,” said Mr De Wet.
Ms Amlay agreed: “Coming to school was very energising. If you are in a bad mood, there will always be someone to say something funny to break the ice,” she smiled.
She said she was very blessed to have worked under Mr De Wet and to be a part of Fairview Primary.
But, currently she is spending time with her new boss, at home. “My husband,” joked Ms Amlay.