It is a bittersweet moment for Frieda Brocker who retires, at year-end, after 29 years at Rondebosch East Primary School.
Ms Brocker, of Bergvliet, started at the school as a contract teacher in 1988, becoming permanent in 1991 – a time of many changes, she said.
“It was a time when the number of pupils started to decline. We had combined classes for Grades 4 and 5 and the former Afrikaans school was transitioning into a dual-medium school.”
Ms Brocker was appointed as the head of the maths department in 1998.
In 2007 she was promoted to deputy principal and has stood in as acting principal since the start of this year.
“This used to be a white Model C school. After it opened to all races, religions, it exposed my world to so much more. I feel fortunate to have been able to learn so many things over the years from different cultures and religions,” she said.
She was very involved with the school’s netball team and eventually became the deputy chairwoman for Western Province Netball.
“Our school excelled in netball and this is something we have been focusing on again — we want to get our school back on the map.”
Even during her time as deputy, she continued teaching maths.
“I like interacting and working directly with the pupils. In the classroom is where you really get a feel for the pupils — as opposed to seeing them in your office. The pupils also got to see a different side to me.”
Ms Brocker said she was looking forward to the freedom that came with retirement and not having to follow a timetable, but admitted that she would miss the routine and, most importantly, the staff and pupils.
“We are truly one big family. I am going to miss the companionship and caring nature of my colleagues. This is not something that you find at every school and needs to be treasured.”
Ms Brocker said she hoped the school would stay abreast with new technology and become front runners in the field of coding.
“It is important that the school keeps up with the times and adapts to the changing technology and the role it plays,” she said.
Ms Brocker has three children, two who are married.
While on retirement, you’ll find her either in the garden, reading or cooking up a storm.