Most of our school teachers are forgettable creatures. They fade into memory as unremarkable and sometimes even horrible. But you know the ones who stand out and you remember their names into old age. This past weekend I had the privilege of addressing some of the most outstanding young people across SA who are considering teaching as a career. These youngsters are finishing school and entering university with the firm desire to be teachers. Named after the distinguished vice-chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship puts these super-smart future teachers through one of the best mentorship programmes in the world, enabling them to also learn the skills of leadership and entrepreneurship en route to the classroom. Adapting the title from Stephen Covey’s work, I shared with these remarkable young people “the seven habits of highly effective teachers”, drawn from my own experiences in research and teaching over the years. Perhaps the most obvious hab...

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