Roxanne Bester28 September 2022
Roxanne BesterCurro Durbanville - 2009
Being a teacher means being a superhero, being a teacher to children with barriers to learning means being a superhero with all the superpowers! Roxanne Bester, Curro Durbanville Class of 2009 is the entire Avengers team, or Justice League (whichever you prefer). She has worked with children with many barriers to learning and loves making a difference in their lives and helping them succeed – they make her believe that anything is possible.
One might say that Curro Durbanville had a hand in developing Roxanne’s superpowers. ‘I learnt a lot about who I was and where I wanted to be in my life. I always had the most fantastic teachers who encouraged and supported me through the good days and bad. School wasn’t always an easy time for me, but knowing what I know now, I can use what I have learnt from my experiences to navigate my adult life with a little more clarity,’ she explains, while adding that she will never forget her first day at the school, as a Grade 5 learner in 2001. ‘I remember how friendly everyone was and I was amazed at how few children were in the class, coming from a school where we had almost 30 children in our classes.’
Less learners in class meant personal attention from the teachers, something that Roxanne now provides to other children. After school she first took a gab year and thereafter enrolled for a BEd (Early Childhood Development and Foundation Phase) degree. But what made her decide to work with children who require special attention? She shares her journey:
‘After I graduated, I faced the challenge of finding a job. In order to gain experience, I spent the next four years facilitating children with learning barriers in a mainstream school. In that time I met a little girl who changed my life. She was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and had to be hospitalised to go through the necessary treatment preparations for a stem cell transplant. I spent the next few months working with her at Groote Schuur Hospital and the Red Cross’s oncology department. It was an incredible journey to teach in such circumstances. Being at Red Cross gave me the opportunity to get to know so many brave and fearless children.’
Not long after this experience, Roxanne saw a vacancy for a substitute teacher. She speedily applied and before she could count to three, she was a Grade 1 teacher. What was meant to be only one term turned into a permanent position and now she is teaching Grade 3 and loving every minute thereof. ‘Today, I am blessed and lucky enough to work with special-needs children. Each and every day I am truly inspired by their determination and tenacity, and it motivates me to be my best self. The children who sit in front of me every day are living proof that anything is possible and even in your toughest times, you can accomplish anything that you put your heart and soul into.’
Roxanne hopes to continue her studies in the near future and wants to delve deeper into psychology and educational psychology. ‘I want to spend my days helping those children who do not have access to expensive doctors/psychologists,’ she says.
We are so proud of Roxanne ‘Justice League’ Bester for helping to ensure that every child reaches their full potential.