Star teacher of the week
02 March 2021 | Education
Afrikaans second language teacher for grade 10, 11 and 12 with grade 12 on AS levels.
When and why did you decide to become a teacher?
As a grade 1 learner in Primary School Danie Joubert, Mariental. The way our class teacher, Mrs Fourie, taught us convinced me to become a teacher myself. Today I never could have imagined myself in another profession than teaching.
What is the best aspect of being a teacher?
The fact that a teacher works with the youth and no day will be the same, because human beings are different and they change every day in personality, attitude and behaviour. With your influence as teacher or educator you can help them grow and develop their goals, ultimately helping or assisting them to reach their best potential.
Can you tell us about your journey towards becoming a teacher?
As I said earlier, becoming a teacher was a decision I made as a grade 1 learner and I constantly dreamed about it. After I matriculated at Secondary School Mariental I studied for a bachelor’s degree in languages and social sciences at the University of Stellenbosch. I also did my Higher Education Diploma (HED) at the same university. I was appointed by the ministry of education as German teacher at “Gluck Auf” Primary School at Tsumeb. We were too many teachers at the school and I was moved to Secondary School Wennie Du Plessis in Gobabis to teach Afrikaans and history. After few years of teaching, I married and moved to the farm to stay there. I home-schooled my own children and when they were older we moved to Keetmanshoop. There I started teaching at Keetmanshoop Private School. With the opening of the new private school in Gobabis, namely Gobabis Gymnasium, I was appointed as a geography and Afrikaans teacher at the school. I also became head of department at Gobabis Gymnasium and was also acting principal during the second half of 2015. At that stage I decided to make a total change in my life. I looked at different possibilities and finally moved to Windhoek where I carried on with my teaching career as Afrikaans teacher at Windhoek Gymnasium. It’s a great privilege for me to be at Windhoek Gymnasium and I enjoy my job a lot. I am so proud to be part of this amazing team.
What is the highlight of your teaching career?
To get up early in every morning, and to see how the sun rises from behind the Auas mountains on my way to school. Every morning’s scripture reading and prayer in the staffroom and the short chats with my colleagues are so important to start the new working day. Personally, the most important for me is when the learners of my register class enter the class with their daily question: “How are you today, Ma’am?”
Can you name a class and year you will never forget and why?
The year 2020 with its Covid pandemic I will never forget. Suddenly I had to adjust my grade 11 and grade 12 classes to online learning; thus I had to teach from behind a screen. As Afrikaans is for the majority of the pupils a second or a third language, it was a huge and a new change at the start, but later on we managed to find the joy in this new way of teaching.
What lessons have you learned from your learners?
To have lots of patience and always negotiate to understand learners. Successful communication is the crux of any relationship. All of us should be passionate about our dreams and we must use our talents to reach our fullest potential. And last, but not least: to be friendly and to live and laugh as we all grow together as one.
What leisure activities do you participate in?
Any craft activities, especially crochet and knitting. I also love making paper doll blankets. This is a new type of craft that I saw on Pinterest.