SStar Teacher from DHPS: Valerie Van Zyl teaches Mathematics, English and Life Skills for the grade 1 and 2.

30 November 2021 | People

Pull quote: "I wanted to make a difference in the lives of the children I teach. Children who believe in themselves have endless possibilities."

1. Why did you decide to become a teacher?

School was hard for me when I was a learner and unfortunately, some of my teachers made it difficult for me to believe in myself because they did not believe in me. When my school career ended, I knew that I had to become a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of the children I teach. Children who believe in themselves have endless possibilities.

2. What were your aspirations at a younger age?

I always knew that I wanted to work with people. My initial idea was to become a psychologist. I felt that by studying psychology I would gain a better understanding of people and their behaviour.

3. What motivates you to get up every morning to go to work?

Being a teacher is very rewarding. I can literally see daily how each learner is growing. When they arrive in my classroom at the beginning of Grade 1, they are inquisitive and motivated to learn how to read, write, and learn the numbers and so much more. It is incredible to see how much they have grown intellectually, emotionally and socially by the end of Grade 2. Every class is different and it is exciting to be part of the journey.

4. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt from one of your learners?

It is important to cherish the uniqueness of every person and to celebrate our differences. Acceptance, patience and to never assume that you know a person. They might surprise you.

5. How long have you been a teacher?

This is my seventh year teaching at DHPS.

6. What is your favourite book and favourite place to visit in Namibia?

My favourite book at this stage is my school diary.

I have many favourite places in Namibia, but now I am really looking forward to visit my hometown Swakopmund. Probably because the festive season is around the corner and I am excited to spend time with my family and friends.

7. Tell us about your journey.

My aim is to grow every day as a teacher, mother, wife and friend, even if it is only a tiny bit. And I would like to study again.

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