Change the world


The inaugural presentations of the first group of final year education students set to graduate early next year have set an inspiring tone for a very unique tradition at NMMU’s George Campus. The group of seven recently gave an overview of their diverse experiences, unique teaching methodologies and the insights gained during their practical year of study spent with secondary schools in the Southern Cape region.

This was done in a jam-packed lecture theatre where they were joined by all students in the BEd (FET) programme, as well as close family members, lecturers, school principals and other guests.

The group’s shared experiences reflected the challenges, diverse landscape, disparities and rewards of the education system and a career in teaching. Lessons learnt and shared included the necessity of being sensitive to the context of the learners; the importance of never underestimating learners; as a teacher taking responsibility for outcomes; the importance of teamwork and cultivating good interpersonal relations; being approachable, yet setting boundaries in the classroom; being creative and helping learners to believe in themselves; and the value of being and learning from good mentors.

Mr Alastair Brinkhuis, Principal of St Pauls in George, who has assisted the BEd students with Teaching Practice experience at his school welcomed the students to the teaching profession. “You are entrusted with special commodities – the minds of children!” he said. He encouraged students to prepare themselves to work hard, to be good teachers, to inspire learners and to make a difference. He stressed the importance of upholding the values of dignity and respect for all people, whether it is a child a parent or a colleague. He concluded that the rewards of this profession are “most satisfying” since teachers have the capacity to make a real difference in shaping the lives of learners.

Other guests included school principals Mr Francois Moll, of York High, Mr PD Louw of Parkdene Secondary School, and Mr Johan Smit, chairperson of the Principal’s Forum.

Prof Patrick Bean, who heads up the BEd (FET) programme for NMMU George, inspired both students and guests with his overview on “becoming a teacher”. He, amongst others, touched on the theme of time – dedicated time, value time and quality time - as the most precious commodity to any person. He concluded that great teachers are those who are prepared to spend quality time, usually reserved for oneself and one’s closest family, with a child that is not theirs.

NMMU George inaugural final year student teachers

The inspiring group of participants in the NMMU George inaugural final year student- teachers’ presentations were:

Back: Students Ashwin Meyer and Meashane Holmes; and Prof Patrick Bean

Centre: Students Vinolia Britz, Nadia Jasson, Nina Hanekom, and Administrative Coordinator, Dr Suz Phillips

Front: Ms Paddy Esselaar, Lecturer and Academic Coordinator BEd (FET), and students Deidre Joorste and Jaques Wolmarans.

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Tel: 27 44 801 5098