Star teacher of the week

19 January 2021 | Education

Elaine de Klerk - Pionierspark Primary School

Why did you become a teacher?

I love children and I like to make a difference in their lives. Teaching makes every day different and unique, and I love sharing my love for learning. It really is a passion of mine to work with children and I always try to use my sense of humour and try to find ways to make a difference in children's lives. I love organising and helping children to the best of my abilities. Their development is my priority.

What motivates you every morning to get up and go to work?

It is important for me to know that I can make a difference in the lives of my fellow teachers. I am very positive and always enthusiastic and I use that to better the lives of people around me. I have a deep passion for helping others.

Can you tell us about your daily challenges and how you overcome them?

It is a challenge to know your learners and the highs and the lows they have in their lives. I must take the hands of parents, especially now in these difficult times where a lot of parents lost their jobs. I make it my priority to keep open lines of communication to the parents and at this stage WhatsApp and Google Teams are of great help.

What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt from your learners?

To always stay humble and never try to be somebody else. Being you is the best gift you can give your learners. Always do your best, and know that that's enough. As long as you are trying, you've got nothing to lose.

What are your talents and what are you passionate about?

As I've said I have a great ability to motivate people surrounding me. I have an open heart and I will always make time to listen to people and help them to the best of my abilities.

I am passionate about giving and by giving you tend to get more to give. I promised myself never to see a child go hungry and I’ve been running an eating programme for more than 20 years at school. I also have a passion for the elderly and sick people, especially those with diabetes.

What is your favourite book, song or place to visit in Namibia and your dream car?

My favourite book is ‘Om Te Onthou’ by Karen Kingsbury and I love the song ‘The Older I Get’ by Alan Jackson. My favourite place to visit is Swakopmund and my dream car would be a Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Can you tell us more about your teaching journey?

I started teaching in 1989 at Hoep Hoep Pre-Primary School and then joined Vereeniging Voorwaarts as a grade one teacher from 1990 until 1993. Thereafter I moved to Privaatskool Elnatan from 1994 until 1995 where I also taught grade one learners.

In 1996, I joined Pionierspark Primary School (Parkies), where I am still teaching grade ones. I’ve acted as a grade head from 2004 until 2013 and have been a head of department at Parkies from 2013 and have been a schoolboard member from 2004.

I have 32 years of teaching experience. I’ve learnt that teaching is journey, not a destination, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of this journey.

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