Teacher of the week: Each child deserves an opportunity

By admin
07 April 2014

Our teacher of the week, Brenda Jordan, believes that each child deserves the opportunity to have a good education and goes out of her way to provide it for her students.

Name and surname:

Brenda Jordan

What and where do you teach?

I am an English Home Language teacher at Eastwood Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg and have been a teacher for 20 years.

Why did you choose teaching as a career?

I have always wanted to be a teacher and my parents would often find the inside doors of my wardrobe coated in chalk, the evidence of teaching my siblings. I also had amazing teachers who were such good role models. One in particular was Mrs Williams, our guidance teacher – she ignited my passion for teaching. She was so warm, encouraging and gave every student an opportunity to achieve, no matter who you were. I wanted to be that kind of teacher to my learners.

Give 3 tips for other teachers in your field.

1) Think of your learners as your own kids, or nephews and nieces

2) Do for them what you pay for others to do for your own kids in their schools.

3) Get to know them: Who they really are, what their homes are like, their socioeconomic backgrounds so that you understand their world.

Give 3 tips for new teachers in any subject or grade

1) Know your subject matter well and be prepared, and remember kids have knowledge too!

2) Understand that learners learn in different ways, they interpret things differently, and so never sit back and think that you have your lesson 100% fool proof – there are always children who will not understand your idea of a "perfect" lesson.

3) If they cannot learn the way you teach, then maybe you should teach the way they learn!

What is your favourite book / technology to use in the classroom?

I have learnt to be techno-savvy and use this as a means to make learning real for my students. I teach classes of 45 learners who often have no link to media other than cellphones. I have taught myself to be computer literate and to use Power point slides in my teaching etc.

What motivates you?

I am motivated by what I can do to reach disadvantaged learners. This is as a result of my professional development within my studies of Social Justice Education at UKZN. I believe that nothing is out of reach! I will find ways to be innovative and creative for the benefit of my learners. No matter how I moan or want to pull my hair out at times- I know that I can make a difference.

I am currently completing my Master’s degree in social justice education and my research proposal is on learners’ emotional experiences in the classroom in regards to their learning. If I want to make a difference then it should begin with me.

I am also motivated by feedback from colleagues and my learners in terms of my teaching and believe that positive criticism can only benefit one to improve and be even better than you once were. Teaching comes from the heart and as tough as it is we touch a lot of hearts- every day!

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