Teacher of the Week
Teacher: Danielle van Eck
School: Protea Heights Academy, Western Cape
Danielle Van Eck received an award for excellence in teaching Natural Sciences.
She is engaged in two innovative programmes – namely, Women in Science and Protea Heights Academy Science Week initiative, which focus on bringing learners from all socio-economic groups and expose them to science activities and guest speakers.
These activities include whizz-bang science shows, snake shows, bridge building, robotics and inspirational speakers.
Van Eck, the GET Natural Science teacher from Protea Heights Academy in Western Cape, says her passion for teaching was ignited by working as a demonstrator for several years during the time she studied at Stellenbosch University for the degree.
She would often do individual tutoring with students who didn’t understand the work.
She was motivated by seeing her students’ understanding of concepts after the tutoring.
She is passionate about teaching and providing the learners with deeper understanding of how the world around them works.
She adds that she loves being innovative and inspiring young minds to think beyond the problem.
She is a practical person and a critical thinker and encourages her learners to be the same.
The major challenge she faces is getting buy-in from the learners, sometimes colleagues and from other schools to partake in projects. She has also experienced challenges with funding and as a result has had to be very innovative when it comes to getting sponsorship for the programs she runs.
Van Eck wants to continue to provide quality education in natural sciences and give back as much to the surrounding communities as possible in the scientific field.