Legendary teacher calls it a day

Joan Ntsodo has decided to call time on her 34-year teaching career at St Josephs Marist College in Rondebosch having obtained plenty of awards and life skills along the way. She now has the vision of continuing her teaching, but only this time, assisiting other teachers with sharpening their teaching skills.

After 34 years of service, a St Joseph’s Marist College teacher has decided to call it a day.

Regarded as the “inspirational Montesorri directress”, Joan Ntsodo has been teaching at the Rondebosch College since 1983.

She also played a role in adult education, apart from the years teaching children inside the classroom.

She started a teaching programme for some teachers from the township Montessori schools in 2003, as there was no other training in Xhosa being provided.

“This is the first one and the only one.

“My personal inspiration is to get to see teachers from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, and the children, benefiting from this education,” she said.

Ms Ntsodo translated the Montessori curriculum into Xhosa and has trained a number of women in the Montessori way. As resources are scarce in some of the schools, Ms Ntsodo showed them how to recreate the hand-crafted wooden Montessori equipment by using simple products such as cardboard boxes and paint with wonderful results that looked very similar to the originals and would perform the same functions adequately.

Ms Ntsodo ends this chapter of her teaching career at the end of 2016.

Sharing her fondest memory at the school, Ms Ntsodo said it was when she had to take the pre-primary class to the chapel and one of the children asked why the headmaster, was wearing a Batman cloak, she laughed.

Ms Ntsodo now has the vision of opening a Xhosa Montessori Teacher Training Centre in the township, saying: “It would be nice to teach more teachers and allow them to follow in that same path as me.”

Jacqui Mulholland was one of the many who had benefited from Ms Ntsodo’s programme and it’s only fitting that she will be taking over the reigns from Ms Ntsodo at St Joseph’s Marist College.

Ms Mulholland received much of her early training and guidance from Ms Ntsodo as an assistant in her class in the 1990s.

The Montessori Adult Education Classes will, however, continue on Saturday mornings, with the first class on February 4 2017.