varsity news

Janel Smit teaches computer studies, life orientation and research methodology and problem solving
1. When did your journey as a teacher start?After graduating from North-West University in 2017, I returned to Namibia and started my journey as a teacher at Pro-Ed Academy in 2018, where I am still teaching.

2. Which subjects and grades do you teach?I teach computer studies to grade eight, life orientation to grades eight to ten and research methodology and problem solving to grades nine and ten.

3. Has teaching always been something you wanted to do?People always ask me, why was I at school for 12 years and studied for four years, just to go back to school again? Well, I loved school, and as one grows up, one finds one’s passion. Mine has always been sport and working with people, especially children.

4. What is the biggest challenge as a teacher?Every day offers new challenges. It can either be a difficult parent, naughty children or simply stress and pressure. Yet, the challenge as a teacher is to cope and process whatever comes your way.

5. What do you love about your profession?I love the fact that each day, week and year is different. Different children, different stories, different backgrounds. The diversity is refreshing and allows so much scope to explore and develop.

6. What would you be if you didn’t become a teacher?I would still be in a profession where I could work with children, be in nature or do sport. I would have done child kinetics, a field in which one specialises in promoting and optimising the neuro-motor development of young children. I might also have gone into tourism or marketing.

7. What keeps you motivated and inspired to keep on teaching?

Rare are the moments where you just get a thank you or a sign of appreciation. In these moments, you know when you have made an impact or a difference in a child’s life. Whether it’s on the sports field, in the classroom, or at a social event.

8. What do you enjoy in your free time?I love spending time with family and friends. Being involved in different sports makes me happy. I enjoy playing netball, squash, hockey and golf. I love learning new skill sets because I believe you are never too old to learn. Therefore, I love trying something new.

9. What is the greatest thing you have ever achieved?It is hard to measure what ‘great’ means; therefore, I would say that I enjoy sharing my skills and experience on the netball court with others. I’m also honoured to be nominated as Star Teacher of the Week!

10. Do you have any motivation for prospective teachers?Being a teacher is never boring. There is so much variety in education, because days are rarely the same.

You have the privilege to work with different children, each with their own set of needs and skills. You learn and grow with experience, so even though some days can be difficult for a new and young teacher, remember to never give up, keep yourself educated, be patient, be loving and caring, and you will see just how rewarding being a teacher can be.