D.J.H. van Schalkwijk (`Spike) has been involved in education for most of his life, first as a scholar, then a student at university, later as a teacher at primary and secondary schools, and finally as a headmaster. He is now retired but remains a teacher, although he no longer stands in front of the blackboard.
During his teaching career he was a resident master at boarding schools with hostels accommodating from 200 to 400 boarders, both boys and girls, of all ages. He taught cultural and social subjects: English, History, Guidance, Art and Drama; and at the same time recognised the importance of physical and mental health in the growth and development of young people.
His interest in young people resulted in the development of a rapport with children of all ages, from nursery school to matric and further. In many cases he has kept contact with his past scholars, and has been able to share with them their problems and successes.
Spike was able to influence children not only in their school work but also in their attitudes towards good human relationships with friends and associates. He and his wife brought up their own two children at the boarding school, a son and a daughter - it's not always easy when one's children are scholars at the school where one teaches. As a housemaster, a senior member of staff and a principal, he had a close association with the parents of the scholars in his care.
The anecdotes and stories in this book are the result of his own experiences, and are written to pass on to others the thoughts and behaviour of children in the most important years of their development. Some are amusing, some are sad, but they all reveal the patterns followed by children in their young lives.
Reading between the lines brings one to the realisation that all children are individuals, each with a unique character and personality. Having children is a privilege parents should enjoy, and this book will add to that enjoyment.
J. W. Acres 1999: Headmaster: Settlers Agricultural High School (1969-1984), and previously Headmaster of Lord Milner School; colleague and longstanding friend.
Get updates about new products directly to your inbox