Hayley Van Nieuwkerk
Headmistress and Grade 000 Spider Class
Ever since I can remember, it has been my lifelong passion to be a teacher. I am a mom to 3 beautiful children and I guess my obsession just grew after having children of my own. I was the proud owner of Clamber Club – Fourways, which is a gross motor and sensory integration program for babies and toddlers. During the course of 6 years, I was the top performing franchisee and was also fortunate enough to win the Franchise of the Year. At the end of 2014, I decided I needed to spend more time with my children and made the hard decision to sell my franchise. It was then, that Buckets and Books asked me if I was keen to join their team. This has been by far the best decision I have made! I get to spend the afternoons with my children and get to do what I love!!! I am so blessed to be a part of these special little people’s lives and I strive to make a positive impact in each and every one of their lives! I am in my 4th year of completing my BED – Early Childhood Development and I have a Diploma from HFPA in “Kids Development” “I’ve learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” - Maya Angelou.
Children and organisation are two of my favourite things! Nothing makes my heart sing more than to hear the laughter of happy children and work through a to-do-list. I graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2005 with a BA Language Practioners degree and then went on to work as a Production Editor at Your Family magazine for a few years. With three amazing children of my own now and a few years of being a stay-at-home mom under my belt, I decided it was time to return to the working world. I am so excited to be a part of the Buckets and Books team and to assist the teachers in their roles of educating your little ones.
Deputy Principal and GRADE R - BUMBLEBEE CLASS
Teaching is always something I’ve wanted to do. When I was growing up, I would watch my mom teaching and think “Wow! I’d really love to do that when I’m older!”. When the time came to choose a career, I decided to venture into a different field and leave my teaching dream behind. Little did I know that the career path I had chosen would ultimately lead me back to my dream job, teaching! I qualified to be an Audiologist at the University of Pretoria in 2014 where my passion for working with the hard of hearing began. I then went on to teach English in Vietnam for 6 months at the beginning of 2017 and absolutely loved working with the children. It was then that I realised that I needed to find a way to combine my two passions. I am currently enrolled at UNISA studying a PGCE Foundation Phase and ECD. I am very excited to be able to combine all the skills that I have learnt so far in the classroom and to be able to provide Audiology support where needed. "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn" - John Cotton Dana
Stacy De Kock
Grade 00 - Dragonfly Class
I have always had a passion for children and the ability to make a difference in their lives. I matriculated in 2012 and started studying at Monash University where I majored in both Psychology and Child and Youth Development. I obtained a BSC in Social science. I am currently au pairing for an amazing family and have been with them for the past four years. I started out in the Playgroup before progressing to Grade 0000 and am currently teaching 00 and loving every second! I am also in the process of studying my Bachelor of Education foundation Phase. I am so proud to be a part of the Buckets and Books family!
Grade 000 - Cricket Class
I come from a family of teachers on my father’s side and nurses on my mother’s side, caring and teaching is in my DNA. After travelling to the Republic of Ireland to study a diploma in Business Management, I realised that my true passion is teaching and working with children. I started my teaching career in 2015 as a teacher’s assistant in the 4 – 5 year age group class and quickly moved on to head teacher. To date I have taught primary school IsiZulu and Mathematics, I have tutored and au paired but nothing has felt more meaningful or has filled my heart with as much joy as working within the Early Childhood Development (ECD) environment. I am currently enrolled at UNISA doing my third year in my Bachelor of Education foundation phase majoring in ECD. Every day I wake up and look forward to my day ahead at Buckets and Books.
Grade 0000 - Ants Class
I have always had a passion for young children and believe that God has given me a gift to connect with them at their level. I have special interest in Gross Motor development and have spent the last 20 years of my life teaching Playball. My husband and I own two Playball franchises and we have seen so many benefits for children who are involved in movement and sports activities. I am also a qualified learn to swim instructor and had my own swimming school for five years. Children learn through movement, the more they move, the more they learn! When a child has confidence in their own body, they can take on the world. I am so excited to join the Buckets and Books team this year and use my gross motor expertise in the classroom.
Grade 0000 - Beetle Class
I matriculated from Motsheudi Secondary School in 2002. After working as a shuttlebus assistant for School Link for several years, I then went on to complete a programme in Grade R at Unisa in December 2017. I joined Buckets and Books as an assistant Teacher in March 2018, and was thrilled to be appointed as Grade 0000 teacher of the Beetles Class in March 2019. Teaching is my passion as I like to inspire kids. Teaching allows me to use my brain and continue learning every day. It allows me to be creative, and work with a variety of different people. I love teaching because every day is a new day, and I never get bored.
Playgroup - Caterpillar Class
I matriculated in 2000 at Motjere High in Limpopo. In 2001 I attended PC Training and studied travel and tourism. I soon realised that I really loved working with people and especially children. I then completed my studies to become a firefighter. I also worked with a previous employer helping her to raise her two beautiful children. I worked with their family for six years. In 2015 I joined Buckets and Books in order to complete my practical in Early Childhood Development, which I studied through Unisa, and I have now found my happy place.
Grade 00 - Firefly Class
I was fortunate enough to attend a high school where outreach was an extra mural activity. I had an immense passion for helping the little children at the orphanages and schools where we volunteered. Teaching came naturally to me, however, it took me a few career changes and other qualifications after school to realise that teaching is in fact my calling in life. I can now confidently say that this is what I’m here for, this is my life’s purpose. I am so grateful to Buckets and Books for giving me the opportunity to follow my dreams and to be able to have an impact on and influence the lives of little people. My heart overflows with love and compassion to help and care for young children and this is why I decided to pursue a career in teaching. I am currently studying my Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase and loving it!