Teacher of the Week
Teacher: Asja-Leah Katia Strydom
School: Despatch Preparatory School, Eastern Cape
ASJA-LEAH KATIA Strydom was so dedicated to succeed as a teacher she decided to learn isiXhosa, the language spoken by most of her learners. Her biggest challenge until then was navigating the bridge between the language of the majority of her learners and her language.
But it was self-motivation and her teachers from Despatch Preparatory School in the Eastern Cape who inspired her to be a teacher.
She adds that she is motivated by being one of the first people to discover a talent and has the opportunity to develop that potential. Her strong point is her energy and passion for teaching and admits that she is obsessed with the profession.
Her recognition that has culminated in her being a national finalist serves as motivation for those who come from a semi-rural environment such as Despatch Preparatory School.
She said about her National Teachers Award: “This is an enormous honour to be seen and recognised by your country. It was absolutely amazing seeing the extra effort and how many teachers are going like ten thousand more miles. Children’s lives are genuinely changed by these teachers. There are teachers devoting their time to run Grade R classes over weekends to assist children. Others have designed apps and programmes interlinking with a curriculum. The best mathematics teacher in the country pushed herself for three years to get massive sponsorships by literally going from door to door. She did this to get Lego blocks, which she uses to teach high school maths. What was also inspiring, is language teachers taking their learners into the depth of areas where specific languages are spoken, so that the learners can hear the different dialects. It must have been very difficult to judge us, because what one school has another hasn’t, but you all have to bring something to your community.”
(Compiled by Inside Education staff)