Star teacher

Chrisna van der Schyff is an accounting teacher to grade 8 to 12 learners at Gobabis Gymnasium School.

09 November 2021 | Education

Pull Quote: “No two people think, look or learn the same. And there is a place for each and every one of us on the planet. Do not underestimate anybody’s capabilities.”

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

From a very young age, I dreamt about being a teacher. It has just always been part of me. I love teaching someone something and I love children. When you combine those two, you get a teacher. I believe I was born to be a teacher.

What were your aspirations at a younger age?

The games I played as a young child were always related to being a teacher. As a high school pupil, I had different dreams and aspirations but eventually all of it could be traced back to being a teacher. It was only after school that I admitted to myself that I wanted to become a teacher.

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

I love my career. It doesn’t feel like a job to me. I am excited to get up in the morning and go to school, be a teacher and make a difference in a learner’s life. On difficult days, the class clowns keep me positive.



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

They’ve taught me so much over the years, it is difficult to identify just one lesson. I do, however, believe that the most important lesson they’ve taught me over the years was that every person is unique. No two people think, look or learn the same. And there is a place for each and every one of us on the planet. Do not underestimate anybody’s capabilities.

How long have you been a teacher?

I started teaching in 2008. So, I have been a teacher for 13 years.

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

There are so many excellent books that I’ve read. But certainly, one of my favourites is ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris. And I love reading books in my favourite vacation town, Henties Bay.

Tell us about your journey?

My journey was not smooth at all, but I learnt so much about life, education and myself. I started teaching in 2008 when I was only 20 years old without any qualifications. Mr Wimpie Silver was the principle of Gobabis Gymnasium at that time. He believed in me and had my back every step of the way. But he taught me a lot and didn’t sugar-coat my weaknesses. I made a choice to learn from older educators. Today I am so very grateful for that. I completed my bachelor’s degree through Unisa in 2011. Then a few years later I completed my honours in special needs education through Northwest University (Potchefstroom). Sometimes being a teacher is rough. You have to understand teenagers in a way that they don’t even understand themselves. You have to work hard and for many consecutive hours. You get a lot of critique from people. But when I stand in my class, the rest of the world disappears. I love being a teacher and teaching teenagers. They are so funny and inappropriate. I would never choose another career.

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