Being an educator can be a thankless job at times, but teachers spend more time with our children than we do and they are key in shaping the future of today’s youth.
As a teacher, you’re the most important part of a young student’s life. Your love of learning can be infectious and inspiring to any student you teach. Remember how you nurture the courage in a pupil’s heart. You are a tutor, an enabler, and a caregiver combined, and you can—and will—make a difference.
This month we are celebrating female educators and the difference they are making in learners’ lives every day, by educating, imparting valuable knowledge and inspiring them.
During August, Future Nation Schools (FNS) are flying the flag high for all their female educators, by working tirelessly to prepare the youth for the future workplace.
Being an awesome STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) female educator in South Africa, means having an opportunity to positively influence young minds so that they are confident and proficient in the use of technology. Students must be able to consume educational content and use technological tools to produce content such as research assignments and presentations, (Create video games, make electronic devices, create desktop and mobile applications and websites) which means they should also be equipped with 21st Century learning skills like critical thinking, collaboration and teamwork.
They need to be empowered with the abilities they require to thrive in the 4th Industrial revolution, and be equipped to address local, regional or even international problems, as well as gaps in the market by capitalising on entrepreneurial opportunities within their communities. It means nurturing them into amazing holistic human beings that will majorly impact their communities.
Xoliswa Mahlangu is the Computing Curriculum Developer and Co-ordinator Computing Teacher (Grade 4 – Grade 9), Robotics Coach at Future Nation Schools Fleurhof & Lyndhurst campuses and is passionate about imparting knowledge to her students every day.
“I would like to think I influence all the students I interact with. I am always experimenting with fun technological devices in the classroom that amaze the students and leave them with a sense of wonder. I especially influence the girls in the robotics club at Lyndhurst. They think it’s very cool to see a female teacher who is so comfortable with technology, who is always trying new things and is not afraid to fail at times, as long as she learns something new,” she explains.
Xoliswa started teaching at FNS in 2017, with the opportunity for her to create a computing curriculum for Grade 1 to 9 and implementing it.
“It seemed like a fun space where we could enable students to use computing power and computational thinking to solve problems and be innovators.”
Teaching can be a thankless job and ensuring that you are inspired every day to teach young students is not always as easy as you would hope. However, Xoliswa says that she is excited by the idea of enabling students to be content creators and innovative problem solvers.
“The smiles when students finally figure something out and have that ‘ah ha’ moment is purely amazing. When students realise that they can make things that they previously thought only geeky adults could do like building websites, creating apps and robots, they feel empowered and they can see their education come alive,” she says.
In the future, we need to ensure that learners keep getting the best education in order to prepare them for the world out there. By having more and more real-life connections and subject integration, this will be achieved. When students know why they are learning a certain skill, they are more likely to be engaged and eager to learn. It helps to bring their lessons to life and makes their lessons more relevant for the next phase of their educational careers.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories: