Teacher’s passion shines through

Fahmeeda Latib with the accolades she received.

LYDENBURG – “I strive for excellence, not for awards – that is me.”

These are the words of Fahmeeda Latib (36) from Lydenburg Primary School who came second in the category, Excellence in Primary Teaching, at the 17th annual National Teaching Awards.

The function was held at Gallagher Conference Centre in Johannesburg on March 25.

Amicable, dedicated and with a passion for teaching, this grade six and seven maths teacher challenges children’s fear of maths and reignites a passion for the subject.

“It is called maths anxiety. Learners are scared of maths. I try to make learning fun by using concrete apparatus and accommodate the pupils’ different learning styles. I try to evoke their different senses and by that I can determine my approach of teaching towards each one.”

Fahmeeda said through contextual learning, she relates maths to the children’s environment. “My lessons start with stories. Most of the kids are from complex backgrounds. By addressing problems in their community I encourage critical thinking. Maths is problem solving, analyses and statistics. I am constantly resourcing and getting new ideas for my teaching to the interest of the learners.”

This woman has been a teacher at the school for four and a half years and participated in the awards for the first time. The principal, Clara Shabangu, entered her, where she took first place in the Bohlabela district and Mpumalanga before moving on to the National Teaching Awards.

“I did not expect to end up second. It was a huge surprise, but I am thankful that the awards shed light on our school and on the town. Our school is under-resourced and lacks crucial facilities such as computers, yet the dedication as teachers shines through.

“The acknowledgement was not possible without the support of my husband, Abdur Rahman Hajee and children, Ibrahim (13), Isaa (8), Muhammad (5) and little girl, Maryam (1) as well as my parents, in-laws, principal and supporting colleagues.”

Fahmeeda is also a keen writer and a community builder who is a member of Sisters of Mercy, an organisation that assists orphans in the community irrespective of religion or race.

“My cup is full. When something comes from your heart, it’s easy – and teaching comes from my heart.”

Pat Engelbrecht

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