World Teacher Day
Photo Credit: Pexels

It’s World Teacher Day and we’re spotlighting some of our favourite 2023 teacher hero stories. From the teachers who united and trekked to give their students better classrooms to the ones who changed a single student’s life:


South Africa (05 October 2023) — The impact a good teacher can make on a learner’s life through support, understanding and kindness is often the ultimate test. So many teachers have passed this unofficial assignment with flying colours, yet the spotlight for their efforts is not nearly as bright as it should be. World Teacher Day then, marks the perfect excuse to shine some extra light and celebrate the teacher heroes who are making South Africa’s future stronger in all kinds of ways:

World Teacher Day! Meet Some of the Teachers who Passed the Hero Test This Year

The Teacher Heroes Who Tackled Hundreds of Kilometres for the Love of Their Students

Hoërskool Randburg’s Teacher Heroes teamed up to run from Durban to Randburg, all to raise funds for classroom upgrades so that their students can have better educational resources.

Hero teachers
Photo Credit: @hsrandburgofficial/Instagram

The Thoughtful Teacher Who Wrote a Book to Help New Students Feel Welcome

Mrs Samantha Evans from St John’s D.S.G in Pietermaritzburg wanted to help new high school students feel welcome. So, she took the time to write a whole book highlighting why the library is a safe haven so no young girl feels they have nowhere to go.

New Students Feel Welcome
Photo Credit: St. John’s D.S.G

Retired Headmaster Phuti Ragophala who Started a Mini Classroom to Make Coding Accessible

Retired Limpopo headmistress Phuti Ragophala was honoured with an Order of Baobab Award earlier this year by President Cyril Ramaphosa for her work in education. Amongst 25 years of powerful, teaching when she retired in 2016, she started a ‘mini classroom’ in her home office in Seshego, Polokwane, to help the local community, neighbours’ children, and grandchildren with important programming skills.

Photo Credit: Supplied

Teacher Megan Culligan Who Was Determined to Keep a Former Student in School

Pinelands North Primary School teacher Megan Culligan committed to raising the money her former student desperately needed to stay in school. She had seen her former student thrive, and couldn’t bear the thought of him not being able to further his education. Spoiler alert: The crowdfunding was a big success!

Photo Credit: BackaBuddy – Supplied

The Strong Women Who Turn Drop-Outs into Matriculants Through a Night School

A community of women created a night school to give people who dropped out a second chance. Hopeful Leaders might not be your typical school, but it has certainly changed lives through education and community!

Night School
Photo Credit: Hopeful Leaders Night School

Sources: Good Things Guy
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Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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