Teacher of the week: A lifelong learner

By admin
15 October 2013

Our teacher of the week, Kenneth Woodward, tells us why teaching is the profession for him and about wanting to make a difference in children’s lives.

What do you teach and where?

I’m acting department head at Welgemoed Primary School in Bellville, Cape Town. I serve on my school’s school management team, manage the physical facilities and maintenance portfolio of the school, am head of rugby and cricket, and teach maths, natural sciences (subject head), life skills and Afrikaans additional language in Grade 5, as well as life skills in Grade 6.

Why did you choose teaching as a career?

Teaching is a career that improves you holistically and gives me a platform to live out my interests. My love of learning new things, sport, music and improving myself was awakened at school thanks to outstanding opportunities and teachers at Worcester Gymnasium. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives and thereby create an optimal environment where learning could take place.

Give three tips to other teachers teaching the same subjects as you:

  • Always be prepared. Children quickly discover if you don’t know what’s going on.
  • Continually look for ways to improve your subject’s content and presentation.
  • Don’t forget or leave out the “fun” element of teaching. If your lesson is boring to you just think of how the children feel. Find ways to maintain learners’ concentration after teaching them important concepts or content by temporarily changing the subject. Work hard, play hard!

Give three tips to novice teachers of any subject in any grade:

  • Get involved. It’s the quickest way to better get to know your school, grade and children.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. People often try to pretend they know everything, but it’s better to put your pride in your pocket if you don’t know something or need advice.
  • Don’t be afraid to give your opinion about something, and stand up for yourself. If you have a better idea or know more about something, share it with others in a professional way and don’t be proud.

What is your favourite item of technology or book to use in class?

My favourite technological equipment in class include my tablet and the flatscreen TV. I load my handbooks (those that are digitally available) onto my tablet so I don’t have to carry so many books around. YouTube and Prezi are my favourite presentation programs. My laptop is also a favourite.

What motivates you?

My wife and daughter, and an old teachers’ saying: to be a lifelong learner. Winston Churchill said, “Don’t be prepared to be a chip off the old block; be the block itself.” I would like to be the best I can be and won’t accept second best if I can get to the top.

God is close to my heart and through music ministry (my wife and I write gospel music and I’m a leader in ministry) I experience His Greatness every day.

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