William Smith received the honour for his contributions to maths and science. He appeared on the national broadcaster for years, teaching physics and chemistry in the time slot that kids were arriving home from school.
This idea is probably foreign for the generation who have grown up with the Internet in their pockets. But for the those from my generation, Smith was our YouTube and Google.
Smith is famous for his infectious enthusiasm, extravagant use of hand gestures and trademark fingers covered in ink.
While the Learning Channel was only on air during the 1990s, Smith made an advert in 2010 about the circle of child abuse in South Africa. The short video clip was filmed in the same manner as his Liberty Life Learning Channel segments.
Watch: William Smith – a basic math problem
The outpouring of gratitude and love for the teacher bears testimony to the enduring impact his work had on the education of millions of South Africans.
Smith himself credits the success his lessons enjoyed on the fact that he’s always been partial to using simple language. He explains:
“I am not a linguist which I think was an advantage. I tend to use simple language, and that is an important thing in broadcasting. A lot of people try and impress with words and the second you use a word that someone does not understand, you have lost them.”
Smith feels that often teachers can forget to put themselves in the learner’s shoes and lose their audience by moving too fast.
“I think a lot of intelligent people tend to make bad teachers because everything is obvious and it is not.”
Watch: William Smith honoured with the National Order of the Baobab
William Smith who is well-known for teaching and demystifying maths and science has made his way into the venue. He is among the recipients of the #NationalOrder of the Baobab. He will recieve the award in silver. pic.twitter.com/KX9kEzIZ43
— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) April 25, 2019
Yasss 👏👏👏 this man really helped me in my matric year. I didn't go to winter school but instead stayed home &, watched his programme on SABC to revise & today I'm whole qualified CA(SA). Big ups Will!
— Suzan Dolamo (@092_mampe) April 25, 2019
— Saint 👑 (@ryant2085) April 25, 2019
He’s deserves this award.. he taught me maths and science 25years ago. It changed my life to pass my matric.
— moyahabom (@moyahabom2) April 27, 2019
I can proudly say this man had a huge influence in me being a Mechanical Engineer today. Thank you SO MUCH #WILLIAMSMITH 🤠
— TIME CONSTANT (@enthalpytheman) April 25, 2019