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Change the world

20/09/2019

Commitment to your students, critical and creative thinking processes, practical back-up, using videos, learning through experiences, juggling many balls, providing safe spaces and  experience and practice are some of the principles our top teachers believe in.

Excellent Teacher of the Year and Business & Economic Sciences Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Lizel Bester

" 'Knowledge is Power,’ said Francis Bacon. I believe that to invest in knowledge, an excellent teacher must be passionate and the rest will follow.”

As a senior lecturer in taxation and applied accounting, Lizel’s teaching approach is based on six scholarly teaching pillars.

Firstly, as an excellent teacher, you should be committed to your students and serve them to the best of your ability.

Excellent teaching in the classroom is to be creative and innovative. Engagement in learning should be vibrant and relevant to the current working environment.

An excellent teacher should demonstrate instructional expertise. Your teaching should set the standard of excellence for your peers.

Lastly, an excellent teacher self-reflects, by evaluating your own teaching, seeking ways to improve and keeping up to date with the latest developments.

Arts Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Tarryn Rennie

“Creative thinking, individualism and freedom of expression are what drive our creativity. This is a process which continues to strive for equal, all-inclusive opportunities.”

Nelson Mandela stated: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Tarryn, as visual communication lecturer in Media and Communication, bases her teaching on this ideal.

She strives to equip students with design thinking processes involving critical, creative, problem-solving, reasoning and evaluating thinking.

To think creatively, one needs to apply critical thinking by recognising problems, defining the issues at hand, thinking about these problems and ultimately providing an informed opinion.

Through the approach of critical thinking and applying it creatively, she encourages her students to explore new avenues, enhanced by technology to provide solutions they sometimes thought unachievable.

EBEIT Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Alan McGillivray

“Teaching and learning should be interesting and exciting. Learners’ interest is most often achieved when the educator shows interest, passion and excitement.”

Alan, an Electrical Engineering lecturer with expertise in electronics and projects, has, from the beginning, made it his goal to teach and educate students in an interesting, meaningful and exciting fashion - the way he always wanted to be taught.

He strongly believes that where possible, all taught theoretical principles should be practically backed-up and demonstrated.

Alan is passionate about trying new methods of interaction with students through his subject presentation and practical, hands-on training.

He loves seeing the growth of students’ interest, excitement and hunger for more knowledge in the field of Engineering. He also understands the challenges and difficulties some of the students face.

EBEIT Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Yiota Moutzouris

I want my students to enjoy my lectures. This drives me to constantly improve my way of teaching for the better.”

The work environment of the School of ICT, where excellent teachers go to tremendous efforts to assist students, has encouraged Information Technology lecturer Yiota to continuously find ways of assisting a large number of students to pass a subject with a high failure rate.

She believes she is blessed to be surrounded by these teachers.

To aid understanding, Yiota provides her own videos, links to YouTube videos extra weekly exercises and quizzes, in addition to her updated slides.

She is extremely excited about her new idea of creating videos in her students’ own home languages. She treats her students with respect at all times, encourages them to ask questions and they are always welcome in her office.

Education Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Dr Marelize van Heerden

“Pass on the passion! Be it for music, dance,dignity, joy or life!

The teaching philosophy of Dr Van Heerden, a lecturer in initial teacher education, is grounded in the belief that learning occurs through experiences, and her pedagogy is guided by a deep desire to bring forth social change.

She is intentional about creating experiences for her students and focuses on creating spaces for them to interact with the Self and with Others, to make sense of themselves and the world.

Dr Van Heerden believes her purpose is to expand her students’ sense of Self, Others and the world in a manner that recognises dignity, humanity, equality and freedom for all people.

She finds purpose and fulfilment in the thought that her students will “go and do the same” as they become the teachers of the future.

Health Sciences Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Dr Lia Kritiotis-Germanis

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle

Pharmacy lecturer Dr Kritiotis-Germanis believes that an excellent teacher is able to juggle five balls in the air: motivating students; explaining complex concepts in a way that is easy to understand; creating a safe space for students to express opinions and to challenge theories; showing warmth and compassion, and displaying consistency.

At some point, one or more of these balls is likely to fall.

An excellent teacher, however, has earned rubber juggling balls, which simply bounce back and allow the teacher to regain a natural teaching rhythm without affecting students negatively.

At some point, one or more of these balls is likely to fall.

Dr Kritiotis-Germanis strives to juggle her five rubber balls to the best of her ability to ensure that students never need to trade in these rubber balls for glass ones.

Law Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Tina Hokwana

“We need to create spaces to empower students to take ownership of their learning and engage in ways that suit them.”

Lecturer in Mercantile Law Tina believes that lecturers must provide safe spaces where students are seen, valued, cared for and respected, as well as opportunities to learn from one another’s varied experiences and perspectives.

To create this, she draws on student experiences to enrich the curriculum.

Lecturers can show they value students’ lives and identities, by learning the proper pronunciation of a student’s name or getting to know where they come from; or by building the curriculum around personal narratives and incorporating identity-based responses into the content.

Tina aspires to values, such as deeply listening to others; trusting their integrity; risking sharing ideas and exploring new ones; speaking the truth as we see it and asking questions on identity, power and justice.

Science Faculty Excellent Teacher of the Year: Dr Suresh Juglal

Mathematics “Mathematics is a non-spectator sport in which the teacher enables his student to plan, strategise and execute, for the student to conquer the game.”

Teaching is an art consisting of various techniques, strategies and skills, many of which the teacher prepares for, while some arise impromptu in the classroom.

The improvement of this art develops through experience and practice, believes Dr Juglal, a senior lecturer in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

A teacher could touch a life forever, therefore teachers have to be cautious in their approach to students as they must also contribute to their students’ moral and ethical development.

Be thoroughly prepared, enthusiastic and dynamic; use practical examples; quality is more valuable than quantity in mathematics, rather do fewer examples in greater depth; active student participation, problem-solving activities and humour, are some of the teaching principles Suresh believes in.

View photos of all the winners and the event

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za