Herzlia Pre-Primary Schools – A perfect environment for children and adults to grow!

Written by Cheryl Lazarus, Pre- School Jewish Life and Learning Coordinator.

We think of a school as a perfect environment for children to learn, socialize and develop. It turns out that it’s also a stimulating space for adults to find their calling. A case in point is Tryphina Rakgotho. Tryphina had just finished matric and only needed to rewrite maths to obtain her certificate. Shelley Jocum, a mother at Alon-Ashel at the time, recommended her highly and she became part of Essential, the outsourced cleaning team in 2012. Tryphina quickly became an integral member of the Alon-Ashel family. She has a natural way with young children and she is always ready to take on a new challenge. She passed her maths exam and she was always eager to find new opportunities for learning.

In 2015 Tryphina became part of the Herzlia staff as a Teacher Assistant. Once again, she excelled in her role and she brought a tremendous energy to the classroom. When the opportunity to study Early Childhood Development through Ort arose in 2016, Tryphina, together with many other Teacher Assistants, grabbed the opportunity to increase her understanding of young children. She quickly applied the theory to the classroom, and it was a natural move into the role of co-teacher of the Playgroup class (3-year olds) together with Sarah Stern in 2017. When Sarah went off on maternity leave, Tryphina continued as the sole teacher, and relished the opportunity.

Tryphina is now teaching Younger Group (4-year olds) and once again, she has brought her positive spirit to this new challenge. Her classroom is always abuzz with activity and she offers a warm space for young children to develop together with the necessary discipline and boundaries. She continues to look for ways to grow and she passed her Intec exams, which she undertook to learn about technology.

Tryphina is an example of many of the staff in the pre-schools. Luvo Nongoyi also started as a cleaner, went on to become a Teacher Assistant and is now the Xhosa teacher for the pre-primary and primary schools. Veronica Konnie has been the mainstay of the Toddler Group at Alon-Ashel, after many years spent as a Teacher Assistant, and she is she is now one of the Playgroup teachers. Ntombi Ndamase and Nikithea Phillips have both made the jump very successfully from Teacher Assistant to class teacher.

It is with awe that we have watched the growth and development of our staff over the years. The love and warmth that they bring into our schools each and every day is beautiful to see, and we are cognizant of the struggles many staff face in their personal lives. We will continue to look for all opportunities for our children and staff to grow and develop their full potential – it is indeed one of the highlights of the job!