Star teacher of the week

23 February 2021 | Education

Marlene von Wielligh, Privaatskool Elnatan

Why did you become a teacher?

Becoming a teacher was not planned, it just happened. Today I am grateful for the opportunity to become a teacher. I love to teach, and I hope I can make a difference in my school and in a learner’s life along the way.

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

If you love what you do, then you need no motivation to get up and go to work. I always make sure I get to bed early because school starts early, so you need to make sure you get enough rest.

Tell us about your challenges and how do you overcome them?

A teacher has many challenges every day because you work with so many different individuals. A teacher should be prepared and be able to shift gears if any challenge arises. Our attitude towards our learners, subject and work is more important than our knowledge and skills.

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

To become a good listener, be accessible and enthusiastic.

What are your talents and what are you passionate about?

I believe one of my talents is to be creative and I project all that in my photography. I express myself through my pictures.

I am passionate about being a mathematics teacher and it is also important to me to make learners fall in love with mathematics. There is such resistance to mathematics and I hope to change that through my teaching.

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

I am a serious reader and I read a lot of different books. Reading is like living a thousand lives. As a teacher I wish my learners would also come to love it.

I do not have a favourite song, but music makes me feel alive. I favour a lot of the ‘80s songs because they evoke a lot of memories from my teenage and student years. It also drove my father crazy at the time!

I love Namibia and my favourite place to be is in nature. Kayaking on the Orange River, hiking in the Fish River Canyon, the Namib Desert from Sossusvlei to Henties Bay and then the beautiful Zambezi Region along the Kavango and Chobe rivers.

I don’t really have a favourite car, because I just want to feel safe in a car. I am not really a car person.

Can you tell us more about your teaching journey?

I have been a mathematics teacher for many years. Most of my teaching career was done at Mariental High School and currently I am a teacher at Privaatskool Elnatan at Stampriet.

Some of my learners are the children of my very first learners when I started teaching. They love to hear stories about their parents when they were in school.

I also feel pride and joy to see how learners achieve great heights, become good parents and become good citizens of our beautiful country in whatever they do.

Being a teacher makes you part of a community and makes you feel appreciated.

Apart from being a teacher to learners, they have also taught me many things and formed me to be the teacher I am today. And for that I am also grateful.

5 tips to learners in the math classroom or in any other class:

1. Prepare to work hard.

2. Ask questions.

3. Get help fast.

4. Find a study partner.

5. Establish a good relationship with your teacher.

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