Local teacher on an upward educational trajectory

Jevonn Cloete is now the acting deputy principal at Rusthof Special Needs School in Somerset West. PICTURE: ALFONSO STOFFELS – NICKAY

Since being awarded the title as Best Special Needs Teacher in 2021, local educator Jevonn Cloete, from the Rusthof LSEN School in Somerset West, has been on an upward trajectory in the field of education.

Mr Cloete was the winner in the Excellence in Special Needs Teaching category at the National Teaching Awards (NTA) on Wednesday October 6 and since his top achievement, many other doors of opportunity has opened for this passionate and committed educator.

Mr Cloete has been appointed as the acting deputy principal at Rusthof Special School, he became a trainer at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute, and he has been nominated to represent the country at the African Union Teacher Prize Awards.

In a statement released by the Western Cape Education Department, he said the NTA served as inspiration to other young educators in special education as well as an “organic appetizer” for education students to enter this field of speciality. “Many students and teachers have reached out to me after the award.”

He added that representing South Africa in the AU Prize will be the highlight of his teaching career. “I am indeed very excited about this. I am delighted to not only encourage other teachers, but I’m also celebrating teaching as a career that gives birth to all other careers.”

Mr Cloete said the NTA and the AU Prize provide an opportunity for schools and school governing bodies to give credit to those teachers who engage in excellent teaching and pedagogical practices that go beyond the classroom.

“Teachers who work very hard, despite many difficulties and severe challenging circumstances they teach in and still excel in what they do. I want to encourage schools and SGBs to give credit to these teachers who perform class duties, non-teaching activities outside the classroom and community service with a heart for our learners.

“For teachers I want to say: Teach the kids you have. Not the ones you used to have. Not the ones you would like to have. The ones you have right now. All of them.”