Teacher welcomes life’s lessons

Charlotte Stopforth, of Durbanville, is passionate about education and children.

Women’s Month is drawing to a close and Charlotte Stopforth, principal of Parow Inclusive Primary School, tells women “it is okay not to be a superwomen”.

Ms Stopforth, 49, a Durbanville resident, has been the principal of the school since 2016 and said she did not set out to become a teacher.

“I was studying psychology at Stellenbosch University and needed a place to do my practical. So I started doing practicals at schools and following that, I completed my Master’s degree. I then decided to also do a post-graduate diploma in education and later an honours degree in inclusive education because I realised that I loved working with children with special educational needs,” she said.

Ms Stopforth completed her schooling at both Durbanville primary and high schools.

She said she enjoyed providing a safe place for children.

“I like the idea of being able to create an atmosphere where every child feels special and good enough regardless of their ability,” she said.

Ms Stopforth said many issues dogged the South African schooling system, but a lack of resources and funds was a “constant challenge”.

She urged women to “allow your life to teach you who you are and enjoy the journey”.

“I also believe education is the road that brings you to places where change can occur, but the choice always remains yours. Some people have all the education, but it is not applied in ways that make the world a better place. People who are able to give selflessly also inspire me.”