Teacher of the week: Think like a teenager

By admin
18 February 2014

Our Teacher of the Week is an artist who believes you sometimes have to think like a teenager to get through to your learners.

Melanie du Toit

Name and age

Melanie Du Toit (26)

What and where do you teach?

I teach dramatic arts to high school learners at the Karbinna Drama Club at Middelburg High School in Mpumalanga.

Why did you choose teaching as a career?

I wanted to transfer my passion for the dramatic arts to young people and create a positive attitude in them to the arts so they’ll regard them as a career choice and help the arts grow in South Africa.

Give three tips to others teaching your subject

  1. Learners understand the subject better if they practise it or see it. Learn to facilitate them correctly and the practical lessons will bear juicy creative fruit.
  2. Use multimedia.
  3. If you expect learners to act in class you shouldn’t be too shy to show them how to characterise physically and vocally.

Give three tips to young teachers of any subject/grade.

  1. You can be strict without shouting or endlessly fighting.
  2. If it looks as if you don’t like your subject learners will like it even less.
  3. Sometimes think like a teenager; being old-fashioned is boring. We must change our way of thinking with the generations to be able to educate them.

What is your favourite technological aid or book to use in class?

My smart board has changed my life and the way I present lessons. I regularly use YouTube’s and ViaAfrika’s Dramatic Arts Grade 10-12, as well as Wadsworth's Anthology of Drama.

What motivates you as a teacher?

The fact that I know every day will present something different, a funny expression by a learner or an unpredictable happening. We have a wonderful headmaster who allows us to do extra-curricular projects. It’s a great motivation to know I can take on these projects while teaching.

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