Star Teacher of the Week

Ella Mutota is a life skills teacher at Ella Du Plessis High School.

21 September 2021 | Education

"Everything about teaching touches my heart, from meeting new people from various cultures to being exposed to individuals from various backgrounds." Ella Mutota, teacher.

1. When and where did your teaching profession start?

My teaching career started in 2008 at a school in Omaheke Region called Gustav Kandjii Junior Secondary School. From there, I moved to Usakos Secondary School in 2010 and then 2016 I moved to Ella du Plessiss High School, where I am still serving as a life skills teacher.

2. What subjects do you teach?

Mathematics and life skills have always been a part of me but as time went on, I primarily focused on life skills and only did a small amount of math tutoring after school when students needed it. I am currently employed as a full-time life skills educator.

3. Have you always wanted to be in the teaching profession?

I always dreamt of being a teacher from a very young age, and this was triggered by my aunt who has always been my greatest source of inspiration. Her perseverance, hard work and discipline inspired me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. At the same time, I appreciated how she connected with the learners as if they were her own children.

My mother contributed greatly to the realisation of this dream because she started calling me ‘Juffrou’ from a very young age and made sure that it happened.

4. What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Everything about teaching touches my heart, from meeting new people from various cultures to being exposed to individuals from various backgrounds. What stands out for me mostly is the fact that God entrusted me with the responsibility of making a difference in someone's life and how children appreciate me.

5. What is a common misconception about teaching and teachers?

That they always know everything and have all the solutions. Teaching is, after all, a learning process, and instructors are constantly challenged to be active learners in that process. We learn through our relationships with learners. I always learn something new from them. I appreciate watching my students smile and knowing that we are concerned about their future generations. Another common misconception about teaching is that anyone can be a teacher. While this is not true, being a great teacher requires true leadership skills. You must be able to control your temper and be extremely enthusiastic about teaching. To summarise, time management is vital since it increases a person's self-discipline. Most importantly, people think we receive a low income but that’s not the case; we can afford food, water and a roof and that’s enough.

6. What is something you have learned during your teaching career?

I've discovered that one needs to multitask in a school setting. You have to be a psychologist as well as an event planner, among many other things.

I've also discovered that parents have a lot of faith in teachers since they do everything they can to make this young kid feel better and see that there is hope. To gain a better understanding of people from various socioeconomic and psychological backgrounds. A teacher's ability to perform better depends on their ability to comprehend a learner from various perspectives.

7. What would you have done if you weren't a teacher?

I would have liked to be a psychologist or social worker because I enjoy guiding people and making a positive difference in their lives. I enjoy deciphering human behaviour and assisting people with social and psychological challenges.

8. What country would you like to travel to one day?

I'd want to see Italy because it has always been music to my ears as I grew up. But I promised myself that it wouldn't happen unless I first explored Namibia.

9. What do you love most about being Namibian?

Namibia is a tranquil country, as well as a stunningly beautiful one. I love Namibia because it has freedom of speech and religion, it has very affordable modes of transportation, it has incredible diversity and natural beauty, and so much more.

10. Do you have a funny or strange incident that happened to you during class?

It happened when a student asked me a question in class that I couldn't answer. Instead, I presented the question to the students and instructed them to conduct research while I conducted my own research. There was also a time when a parent told me to take her child in because she was fed up with her child's behaviour, not realising that a child begins to be who she or he is at home, yet they are now really close.

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