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Who am I?

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I enjoy taking care of my plants, watching films and painting. My favourite animated movie is Up. I own 25 plants. I live in Swakopmund, Namibia. 21 years old

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My dreams

I would like to hike the Fish river canyon more than once.

I want to own my own successful pre-primary school.

I want to camp at every safe campsite in Namibia.

I want to travel to Botswana to visit all of the places that my grandmother used to live.

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2018 Graduated from high school. Believed that I wanted to study Nature management.

2019 Gap year Discovered my passion for working with children. Spent time assisting and job shadowing in every classroom. Volunteered at the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

My decision to become a teacher

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My aunt and mother are both teachers.

My aunt has been teaching geography for 28 years. My mum has been a foundation phase teacher for 25 years. I saw from a young age their passion for teaching. My mum and aunt are both my role models, because they are the perfect example of the characteristics and values that a good teacher should live by.

How my past has prepared me

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Before my gap year I never considered to become a teacher, but working with children changed my mind. Children are eager and excited to learn new skills. I noticed that the more effort you put into teaching a child, the better your results will be.

What influenced me to become a teacher?

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Before the apprenticeship of observation I had a biased opinion of teaching as a career. I had formed my own opinion of teaching as a career from my 12 years in school and the one year I spent observing and assisting in a pre-school classroom. I thought I knew more about teaching, because of my past experiences, but I was wrong. After the apprenticeship of observation I understood the realities of teaching more.

How the apprenticeship of observation influenced the perception I have of teaching as a career.

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Well-resourced schools

Poorly resourced schools

Computers

Posters

Blackboard

No posters

Has enough resources and technology for teachers to teach the students to the best of their ability. May even have a budget for additional resources.

Does not have enough money for resources to teach their students to the best of their ability. Teacher will have to buy or create the resources.

Dry wipe board / Smart board

The various contexts of South African teaching.

Flower without stem

Flower without stem

Flower without stem

Flower without stem

Flower without stem

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Teachers who teach in poorly resourced schools struggle to teach to the best of their ability, because of the lack of resources available. A teacher may struggle to help a student in their classroom with behavioural issues. If the teacher is not qualified to handle this type of situation, they will need support. It can be challenging to help the student without any support from the more experienced teachers or the principal. It will be a challenge to meet all of the students needs when the teacher has too many students in one classroom.

Challenges that different teachers in different contexts face

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I will approach my WIL school placement without any pre conceived ideas about the teaching career. I will learn from my mentor teacher how she manages to overcome different challenges that she may face. I will write every thing down that my teacher does that I believe will help me in my classroom one day.

How I will approach my WIL school placement.

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Empathic towards students

Communicate with them

I will treat my students’ with empathy and compassion. I will be patient with them. I will prioritize building a relationship with my students.

Build a relationship with my students

I will work with the learners individually

Characteristics and values I would like to live out as a teacher.

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I am a very empathic person by nature, I believe that it will be easy for me to show my students empathy and compassion. I will be able to face the challenge of my students misbehaving by remaining calm and not becoming overwhelmed in the classroom. I will remain patient by reminding myself that my students are children. I will build a relationship with my students by listening to them and communicating with them.

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It is very important to record every interaction that I have with a parent about a sensitive issue. She also taught me the importance of listening to my students and providing them with the support that they need. The last thing I learned was that I should never give up on a student. Even if they are misbehaving I need to be patient with them and motivate them to try their best.

What my interview with an experienced teacher taught me.

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It is important to build a relationship with my students and to never assume that I know why a student is misbehaving with out talking to them. I should always pay my full attention to a student when they are talking to me to be able to properly listen to them. I should listen to my students to know when they need my help. I need to remember that most of the time students are not misbehaving to disrupt the classroom, but rather because there is something that is bothering them.

The best advice I received from an experienced teacher.

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Even experienced teachers need to reflect on their teaching strategies, the way they manage disruptive behaviour in the classroom and their personal teaching identity. Developing your own personal identity as a teacher is a process that remains continues throughout a teachers entire career.

The most interesting discovery that I made.

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I thought that I knew what it means to be a teacher, because of my own personal beliefs. I learned that I was wrong, because the perception that I had about this career is not the reality. I learned more about the limitations of my knowledge and experience as a teacher. I learned that I am not yet a great teacher, I am still a student and I still have a lot to learn from more experienced teachers.

The most important thing that I learned about myself.

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I learned that I should never stop reflecting as a teacher. Even when I am one day an experienced teacher, I should continue the process of reflecting about my personal identity as a teacher and my beliefs about teaching. I learned that a teachers job is much more than just teaching the students their academic work, but it is also about taking care of a students emotional wellbeing.

The most important thing I learned about teaching.

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I need to discover and develop my own personal identity so that I won't be influenced by other teachers and what they believe is the best way to manage the classroom and behaviour management. I need to learn how to properly listen to a student and to know what their behaviour actually means. I need to learn more about behaviour management in the classroom.

My biggest areas of improvement

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My commitment to using the next few years to best prepare myself for what I have promised to become.

I commit to working on finding the balance between being strict, but also showing empathy and kindness towards students. I will never stop reflecting about my beliefs as a teacher and developing my own personal identity. I am committing to becoming the very best teacher that I can be by solving any challenges that come my way and finding different ways to utilize my resources.

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I t is very important that I develop my own teaching identity, but I also need to remember that I am still a student. My past experiences may make me feel as if I already know everything about being a teacher, but I still need to learn from more experienced teachers. Even when I am feeling overwhelmed by misbehaving students it is extremely important to remember that I cannot lose my temper in front of them. I need to remain calm and collected. I need to remember that I am not alone in this profession and that I can always ask for help. The last thing I would like to tell myself, is that I should always remember to respect and care for every student in my classroom.

My message to myself as a beginner teacher