SHARON VAN REENEN (Uplands Staff)
I have been teaching at Uplands College forever. I am already at the best school for hundreds of kilometres, why would I want to teach anywhere else? The secret to this longevity is that I have been given the freedom to reinvent myself and re-fire into a new role every few years. Another secret to my happiness is that I LOVE my school. The beautiful campus gives me, like it does many others, a thrill, especially when I drive up to the gates on a misty morning, as the sun rises. I remember when that view was hidden behind a eucalyptus plantation. The day I came for my interview, a Long-crested Eagle flew into one of those trees and I was sold.
More importantly, what gets me up and off to work with a spring in my step (most mornings) is our pupils. They are friendly, confident and engaging. They are keen to share their stories, have strong, reasonable voices and are more than willing to forge a relationship with us in a variety of settings – my favourite of which is the Grade 10 Journey. What’s not to love about that? As a result of these teacher-pupil bonds, my own children, Rachael and Vaughn, have matriculated from Uplands as wholesome, strong, self-assured, and successful young adults.
We have to mention that a perk of this job is the holidays. While it is a myth that teachers get lots of time off, it is true that we get a fair amount. In that time I love to read and travel – there is no better education. I have been to many places in my life and have barely scratched off the bucket list – I’ll do my damnedest to try though, and have plenty of fun doing it.
While I write this I am in quarantine and my passport probably thinks I am in jail. But, an African Fish Eagle has just called (the joys of living in the country), the mannikins are eating me out of house and home at the bird feeder and the sun is shining. Life is good.