Teacher of English
- BA in History, Yale University, USA
Truth be told, I sort-of-accidentally fell into teaching after graduating and have never looked back. I discovered a passion and a purpose which I didn’t know I had which has taken me to a variety of schools and colleges in South Africa and the UK. Before coming to UWCD, I taught at Waterford Kamhlaba in beautiful Eswatini. It was my first experience at a UWC which I found immensely rewarding and enriching.
What is your favourite part of the teaching process?
While I have a passion for my subject and enjoy teaching the IB English course immensely (I particularly like the emphasis on the context of production and reception and how the same text can be received so differently), my subject is just a vehicle for reaching and teaching students. I enjoy the human interaction, the ideas, feelings, opinions and perspectives shared and the subsequent growth that takes places for all participants.
Which teaching method do you prefer and why?
My favourite teaching method is the one which suits the student in front of me. We often assume, as teachers, that others learn as we do when nothing could be further from the truth. I am challenged every day to consider the diversity of teaching and learning methods and the implications of this for my planning and interaction with my students. There is a special type of magic that happens when every student is engaged, secure and challenged.
Who is your role model or mentor or who inspires you?
I am inspired by the colleagues I have taught with over the years who have been incredible mentors. Loretta Giorcelli is a leading advocate in inclusive education whose wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience is truly innovative and speaks to compassion, kindness and my belief in an inclusive universe. Similarly, Kathie Nunley has altered my understanding of how people learn and inspired me to consider alternative teaching and learning methods.
What is your life motto?
This one is easy. It’s not really a motto, but if I had to have a tattoo it would read, “We become”. This is because I believe that we are eternal beings who are always learning. We never get it done or finished. Life is a forever evolving acquisition of knowledge, wisdom, understanding and expansion. It reminds me of another saying: “The race is long and it is only against yourself.” I try to communicate this to young people who become distracted by doubts, anxieties and (ultimately) meaningless worries.
What are the three things you can't imagine your life without?
Connecting with others, animals and nature.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love hiking, reading, experimenting with new recipes and dabbling in arts and crafts.