Bernice Greyling

I Want to Thank Every Single DSS Teacher

An open letter to DSS teachers

My heart is overflowing with thankfulness for everything that Kwasizabantu Mission has done for me. Once I get started I think it will end in a book, so I will try to keep this as short as I can.

I was very privileged to attend Domino Servite School from 1993 and matriculated in 1999. From the first moment I walked into the school I was met with extremely dedicated and loving teachers. My teachers were always neatly dressed, well prepared for their lessons and absolutely committed. For them it was not a job, it was a calling. As a child of 11 I admired my teachers and till today some of them have remained my role models. The education I received was the best and their love for every individual child was evident. Memories return of sitting under a tree on a Friday afternoon listening to Mrs Gouws reading us a story, Mr Hlongwane and his absolute love for Maths. I recall our practices for sports day where everyone is calmly walking down to the sports field where all of a sudden there is a stampede behind you, and you knew! You started running as Mr Pretorius was on his way down with the loudspeaker and it was on the double! How we used to laugh about that.  I recall our vibrant discussions and debates with Miss Newlands while doing our set book such as Anthony and Cleopatra. Having a movie night in the school hall and watching Laurel and Hardy, or everyone together hard at work practising for the play the school would perform. I remember the fun days we had and even once where one of the teachers were surprised with a bucket of water over their head! What fun we had at DSS! Yes, that all happened at DSS and so much more! I have such fond memories of my school career. These are but just a few memories, however there are so many fond memories and I could continue with the list

I remember the very special assemblies taken by Mrs Kay Stegen, where she used to teach us valuable lessons for life and often illustrated with stories of Toto the monkey. A specific assembly comes to mind where she smashed a very expensive jar of perfume on the floor. I remember how shocked we were, but after a while the fragrance filled the school hall. Her challenge was, if life breaks you, what comes out of you? I carried that with me up to now and always remember those precious words.

I had amazing and very special times at DSS, but most important was the spiritual example the teachers set and the concern they had for the well being of our souls. You created a safe and secure environment for me. Thank you for the standard of purity that was taught at the school.

More than 10 years later I really realised for the first time the gem and absolute privilege of attending DSS. I have taught at Christian and government schools and see on a daily basis what our schooling system is like in SA. I also see the outbursts of anger from teachers, which I had never ever seen in my entire time at DSS.  I have had to personally counsel learners as young as Gr 7 who comes out of Science lesson being taught about sex and who were so traumatised and emotionally scarred for life. I see the empty eyes of learners and the heartaches of broken relationships daily and how these affect the learners' schoolwork to such an extent that they are affected for the rest of their lives. Children at school struggle to concentrate in class because of broken relationships and the books they have read or what they have seen.

Thus, I want to thank every single DSS teacher for their commitment and example.  For teaching me a pure way, for showing me the importance of doing your best at school, for not once having an anger outburst and for always caring. For showing me the way to salvation and you created in me a love for the Lord!

I want you to know that you are sowing seeds and some of those seeds will maybe only grow years later. Please do not lose heart or become tired and weary, the Lord will reward you one day.

My prayer is that I will hold the flame of faith high for the world to see and light up another one.

Thank you staff for your tireless selfless acts and often at times seemingly unrewarded labour, your labour has not been in vain. There is a remnant full of thankful hearts for the opportunities we enjoyed, the fun we had, the standard of education we had, but most importantly the spiritual food we feasted on which many of us only appreciated it seems after we stepped out of the corridors we knew so well. We still carry the flame! And as Joshua declared in front of a full assembly "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

A grateful and thankful past pupil of DSS.

Bernice Greyling

Bernice Greyling