ARCADIA Special School principal Dave Bands is bringing four decades of having played a huge dedicated mentorship in the lives of pupils to an end.
Bands, who is retiring, grew up in Port Elizabeth and completed his Bachelor’s degree in education at Nelson Mandela University (NMU).
“My first post was at George Randell High School where I taught for two years and I moved to Selborne College where I taught for 20 years,” he said.
Bands joined became part of the Arcadia staff in 1999 where he was head of department, before taking up the reins as principal in 2006.
“The main thing I am passionate about is psychology, and I specialised in guidance.
“What I enjoyed most about Arcadia [Special School] was having witnessed children who were once broken emotionally, blossom and improve their self-esteem. That is one of the reasons why I applied for the principal’s post – to help young children boost their confidence levels,” he said.
Bands is not just a school principal. He also coaches soccer and cricket, and teaches natural science, social science and life orientation.
“My fondest memory is seeing children flourish emotionally and psychologically.
“ It is enlightening to see a child who came here to Arcadia down in spirit, and then changing their behaviour in a positive way.” t
He said that what he will miss he most is the interaction he had with his pupils was what he would miss most. “I will cherish the time I spent with the pupils, whether it’s in the playground or the classroom. I will miss the moments where they would comfortably talk to me or they would bring me a cupcake on their birthdays. I will also miss the staff members, as I built a strong relationship with them,” said Bands.
He said that after his retirement, he would be travelling extensively to countries such as Botswana or Namibia in order to enjoy the game reserves.
“Another thing I am planning on doing is involving myself fully in a study course that I am currently doing part time, where I help pupils with study skills. There is also another project I want to be part of, where we go to rural schools and assist pupils and teachers with academics skills,” he said.