Teacher takes a bow

Teacher Ursula Bouwers, 63, retires from Eastridge Christian Academy.

An Eastridge teacher is closing the book on her career as she retires after 35 years of service.

Ursula Bouwers, 63, was first a teacher at Eastridge Church of Christ Educare, two decades before it became Eastridge Christian Academy.

Now she is a Grade 2 teacher.

The institution opened its doors in 1990 shortly after which Ms Bouwers started as crèche teacher.

Before which she taught at a crèche in Parkwood.

She worked hard to become a Grade R teacher

“I had always wanted to be a teacher. For the love of the children.

“My mom was a teacher and I wanted to follow in her footsteps,” she said.

Her late mom, Monica Jacobs, taught at a crèche in Lotus River for 25 years.

Ms Bouwers said 100s hundreds of children and their parents have passed through her classes. The two generations she taught produced a lawyer, nurses, teachers and other professionals who have possibly left the area.

“Many of them don’t stay in Mitchell’s Plain. I love to see them prosper and serve the Lord,” she said.

She said everything started and ended with a prayer.

Ms Bouwers said to be a successful teacher, one “must have love for children”.

“The foundation must be laid properly,” she said.

She said the children of yesteryear were different to today.

“Those years the cane worked, a smack or a wack. Nowadays the children say ‘you are not my mother, my mother pays your salary’. They are very opinionated,” she said.

Ms Bouwers said she had to count to 10 and let go of stress to be the mother, social worker, doctor and see to all of the needs of the child holistically.

She enjoys speaking to former pupils as she walks to and from school.

“They have a great respect for me and it allows me to prayer for and with them,” she said.

She constantly prayers for the safety and well being of all children, including her grandchildren, two of whom were also at the academy.

During her tenure at the school Ms Bouwers survived various personal challenges, including ill health and the death of her son Tyrone in 2013 of colon cancer.

Two years before that she was diagnosed with colon cancer, a decade later her kidney was removed and a piece of her liver two years after that.

She is a cancer survivor and proudly supports any awareness drive like that of Cancer relay for life – a 12-hour event, which has at least one member on the track throughout the night, to demonstrate that cancer never sleeps.

Ms Bouwers said while she has enjoyed her stint at the academy it was her time to leave.

She said all good things must come to an end and that she was looking forward to the rest.

Her last day at the academy will be on Monday May 15.

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