A true leader with a good heart and a passion for his pupils and people – that’s how Nasief Fisher was described at his retirement ceremony at Eisleben Road Primary School last week.
Mr Fisher, 64, from Athlone, started his 43-year teaching career at Mitchell’s Plain Primary in Westridge in 1981. This was one of the first schools built in Mitchell’s Plain, he said.
From 1982 to 1988 he taught at Salt River High School, Princeton High School, Woodlands and Grassdale High School in Grassy Park. In 1989 Mr Fisher returned to Mitchell’s Plain Primary School until 2001.
He also taught at Eros School for children with Cerebral Palsy in Bridgetown and Kewtown Primary School. He then came to Eisleben Road Primary School in 2009 and retired on Wednesday January 31.
“I stayed at Eisleben Road Primary School for 15 years and enjoyed my years here. Teaching alongside my colleagues has been such a beautiful experience. They helped me, supported me,” he said.
Mr Fisher taught mathematics since he started teaching. Numbers is his game, he said.
“I was very firm but yet I showed respect to them. I taught our pupils moral lessons,” he said.
Pupils would usually want to be around Mr Fisher even though he would correct them at school, he said.
Before he started his lesson he used calming methods and then spoke about the issues affecting their communities and families. “Sometimes I get carried away for 10 minutes. I have fun, I teach with a lot of passion,” he said.
He said former Eisleben Primary principal, Johannes Sass was a supportive principal. “He made sure we had our resources, such as posters and textbooks for good quality performance,” he said.
The computer lab was always functioning for all pupils when doing maths online.
A colleague and friend, Gail Mellem and Mr Fisher motivated each other when it came to their systemic exams. Eisleben Road Primary School excelled in mathematics and English for a time as they received awards for their achievements. If it wasn’t for Covid-19 they could have kept it going, he said.
Mr Fisher happened to become a teacher by chance. When he finished matric he applied at a mechanical apprenticeship but got a job at “Coloured Affairs” in Cape Town. “A colleague recommended a cleric post at Hewat Teacher Training College, Athlone, where the rector at the time, asked if I wanted to become a teacher. After the approval of my mom, the rest is history,” he said.
He will miss racing the children on the field and down the corridors as he was very involved in sport.
“I had a passionate innings and I really enjoyed my teaching,” he said.
It was a special send off for him on Wednesday January 31. The pupils formed a guard of honour and sang to him while his colleagues gave speeches.
His daughter, Maryam Fisher said they always knew her dad enjoyed teaching. He helped shape children for 43 years.
“He would also speak about the potential of his pupils and lessons learned from them. The motivation and confidence he has in his pupils to do well, his kind and caring nature has had a positive impact on them and their lives,” she said.
“On behalf of my family we would all like to congratulate him, thanking Eisleben Road Primary for their support and beautiful send off for my dad. He has recently learnt that at home he is now under new management, my mom,” she said.
Teacher Rushaana Allie-Chitsa said: “He’s a leader, someone with a lot of wisdom who imparted it with those he worked with. He brought light and understanding. He was a good problem solver.”
Teacher Simonley Adonis said: “Mr Fisher was my teacher at Mitchell’s Plain Primary and later we became colleagues. He is the same as before, he is not here for glory, he is here for the children’s investment where he puts time into them and to his colleagues.”
Teacher Moeshfiekah Frantz said: “He’s a good human being before anything else and a great teacher. When I started here I was feeling new into the profession. He was a helper and never turned you down.”
Teacher Radvonn Gennike said Mr Fisher was the father of the group for pupils and teachers. “He was someone you can confide in during tough times with a humorous love to make a joke. He was passionate about children and doing the right thing.”
Teacher Liezel Bam said: “He was the kindest person. His love for the pupils and school is admirable and motivating. He was empathetic. He also said, it’s nice to be important but it’s also important to be nice and he truly lives up to that.”
Now that he is retired he will be doing mechanically inclined constructions and building work as there are projects he needs to finish. He also looks forward to spending more time with friends and family, he said.
“I want to thank everyone who played a role in shaping my career. And thanks for a beautiful send-off. I will miss being a teacher,” said Mr Fisher.