The role played by the people who teach your children is crucial. They do not only teach them academic subjects but often life subjects as well. It is often a thankless job and at Xander we want to take time to celebrate the incredible teachers out there. Meet our first teacher, Marga Jonker from Durbanville Preparatory School in Cape Town.
Tell us about your career and your choice to become a teacher?
My grandmother wanted to become a teacher. However, being the eldest of a big family during in the difficult economic times, she left school at fourteen to help care for her siblings. The whole family was very proud to eventually provide enough for the her youngest sister to study. My grandmother could recall with pride how her baby sister became a teacher in 1945. My grandmother was grateful to see 4 of her own children and 3 of her grandchildren become teachers. I grew up surrounded by family that valued teachers.
I wanted to learn isiXhosa from the first time I heard the language. I was delighted to be able to formally study isiXhosa as part of my teacher’s diploma. I have since been an isiXhosa Second Additional Language teacher for more than thirty years.
My granny, Nelly Baard (She died at age 94, in 2008)
What is your favourite thing about being a teacher?
I love to design and plan lessons. I am a freak for any gadgets or educational equipment. I love to blend modern technology with traditional educational material or creative art. I’m happy when I can identify parts of a lesson that learners find difficult and I can come up with creative learning solutions.
Creative lessons in class:
Do you use technology in your classroom and can you share an example of how?
I love to introduce Apps to enhance learning. Our school does not have individual devices for learners. We use one device and a whiteboard. Friendly, colourful Apps like Xander IsiXhosa Apps provides fun educational learning. It helps to engage a big group’s full attention.
What advice can you give to young teachers wanting to introduce technology into their classrooms?
I love reading teachers’ blogs. Blogs where teachers explain their real-life engagement with technology, how they succeed and reach their teaching goals with the use or support of technology. Tips and tricks and solutions for classroom challenges can help you choose the best technology for your goals. It’s invaluable that providers should have platforms where classroom experience or challenges can be seen in discussions, blogs or expert’s advice.
It’s also very important to take care not to purchase technology just because it is a magnificent product. You must take time to consider what your teaching goals are. The most important role the technology you choose must play, is to be able to help you reach your teaching goals.
What is your favourite app for the classroom and your personal favourite app?
Spark Video is as very handy app to create support videos. It provides for voice recording and automatically references sources used. It features an instruction video and online community sharing tips, tricks and excellent examples. I can put the links to the videos on the school website. With video links available on the internet, parents have access to the class curriculum. Parents partnering their children in learning a new language is a superb way to get significant results.
I cannot praise Xander Apps enough, I have been searching for colourful, playful and educational resources for teaching Xhosa for many years. Most of the time I had no choice but to work my fingers to the bone to create my own, so it is a tremendous relief to have found quality support.
I am grateful for affordable and quality resources at the tip of my fingers. I am looking forward to many more themes.
Here’s a Spark Video that I made to reinforce what we have learned with the Xander Xhosa Wardrobe App.