Teacher of the week: It’s the most rewarding job

By admin
04 August 2014

Our teacher of the week admits that teaching is a tough job, but believes that it is without a doubt the most rewarding one.

Lynne Arbuckle

Name and Age:

Lynne Arbuckle, 39 years old.

What and where do you teach?

I am the principal of Riverside College primary on Burgundy Estate in Cape Town, I am also the Grade Six class teacher.  I have been teaching for 18 years.

Why did you choose teaching as a career?

I always wanted to teach; I am passionate about children and being able to make a difference in their lives, so this was a natural career path for me. I am thankful that I was able to follow my dream and I still enjoy it every day!

Give 3 tips for other teachers in your field:

  1. Stay up to date with what is happening in the world of education. Our world is changing.  The way we teach and the way in which children learn is changing every day.  Stay informed of what new trends in education are out there, and don’t be afraid to try something new. I am often surprised at how well a new idea works.
  2. Show children how to study. More and more, it is becoming apparent that children and many of their parents are at a loss when it comes to studying. There are so many small ways to help children improve their memory and make studying a little easier. Show your learners tips and techniques during class while you are teaching to help get them started.
  3. Keep a healthy balance. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed and totally immersed in school life to the detriment of yourself and your health. Take time to spend with your family, socialise with your friends (not just work colleagues) and get out. Pursue your interests and hobbies. We all need a break from time to time.

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

  1. Take every opportunity you can to learn and become involved in school. There is always something to do at school; if there are courses on offer, attend them, get involved in extra-curricular activities, volunteer to assist at school events and activities and offer your assistance in your particular field of expertise. Being a teacher does not just involve teaching, it provides you with valuable experience and at the end of the day, you will have a great looking CV too.
  2. Ask for help! We all need it. Never be afraid to ask someone for help or admit that you are struggling in a particular area. It shows that you are open to advice and keen to learn. Find a mentor in your school that you can go to with your problems and questions. Every teacher I know is more than willing to share their experiences and advice with you.
  3. Hang in there! Teaching is a tough job, but without a doubt the most rewarding one. You will have days when you feel like you just can’t anymore. You will have days when you feel like a failure.   Sometimes you may just need a sympathetic ear. Remember why you are there and build up a strong support team, with colleagues and friends who will remind you of why you started teaching in the first place.

What is your favourite equipment/resource to use in the classroom?

The internet is a fantastic resource for anything teaching related; there are so many ideas and resources that can be used to enhance your teaching.

 What motivates you as a teacher?

Every day when I get up, I have the opportunity to change a child’s day in a positive way, whether it be smile or an encouraging word, or helping a child overcome a stumbling block. For many children, school is the only safe and happy place they know. Seeing a smiling, happy face at the end of the day shows me that I have made a small difference in their lives.

The privilege of being a part of a child’s world and seeing how they grow and mature in front of me, be it academically, emotionally or socially, is one I would not change for the world.

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