Teacher of the week: Give hope to your learners

By admin
19 May 2014

Our teacher of the week teaches at a hospital school. Being a teacher in this environment means “you’re also a parent, a brother and a social worker – you have to give your learners hope”.

Our teacher of the week teaches at a hospital school. Being a teacher in this environment means “you’re also a parent, a brother and a social worker – you have to give your learners hope”. 

Name and age

Stephen Pheeha (43)

What do you teach?

I teach Sesotho to learners from Grades 1 to 9 and Social Sciences to Grade 4, 5 and 6 learners. I also teach Sepedi from Grades 4 to 7 at the hospital school in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Why did you choose teaching as a career?

From a young age I realised I loved to teach. When my parents were working during the day I used to teach my younger brother at home in the afternoons.

Give 3 tips for other teachers in your field.

  1. Teaching at a hospital school means you’re not simply an educator. You’re also a parent, a brother, a social worker.
  2. You have to give hope to the children you teach. Make them realise they’re still loved, despite whatever illness they might have.
  3. Prepare your students so they can be mentally and emotionally ready to absorb knowledge – be attentive to their individual needs.

Give 3 tips for new teachers in any subject or grade.

  1. Teaching has to come from the heart. Be patient, be determined and listen to what each learner’s needs are.
  2. The days where it’s only the teacher who speaks in the classroom are long gone. Often you need to stop talking and listen to your learners. Find the underlying ideas they have and develop that.
  3. Try to identify what potential your students have. A future doctor, lawyer, social worker or teacher might be sitting in your class. In reality it’s rare for a teacher to be able to identify this potential, but it will definitely challenge the way in which you guide your learners.

What motivates you?

My love of the kids and how their minds work fascinate me. I always try to impart something to them, but there are certain days where you feel like it’s not working, when you feel like it’s just too much. Then you just sit down and say to yourself: “You know what, God has a purpose and this is His calling on my life. Do what you need to do – be strong.”

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