My name is Jane Louise Wenhold. I grew up in the 1980’s and 1990’s when there was not much involvement from parents and teachers. I went to a typical Model C school. The positives are that I was responsible for myself. No one checked if I had done my homework, or studied for tests. The negatives are that I would sometimes not do my homework and study for tests. If I had a problem above the capabilities of a child I was still expected to resolve it myself, even though it would be impossible to do so.
Typical schools in the 1980’s and 1990’s catered for above average learners who were good at school or good at sports .Everyone in- between was for the most part, forgotten about.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood but there are aspects of it, such as a rewarding education system where it lacked for me. I decided after school that I was going to attempt to improve the standards of education for other children, so that they had more opportunities. I wanted to see what would happen if you took every child in the class and gave them as many skills as possible to help themselves and give them as much family and school support as possible. Most of my past learners do very well.
I studied at Wits and I worked in the school system for a few years. I started to feel because of all the red tape, I wasn’t being as inspirational as I should be. So I started to think my role as a supporting teacher would be more in- tune with what I wanted to achieve academically.
I decided to open my own extra lessons centre, four years ago, where I can:
- Teach properly because I only see a few learners at a time.
- From experience I know which areas the children are struggling with, so I focus on improving those areas first.
- I can give the learners individual attention where I can focus intensely on the areas, which they are struggling with.
- I can build the learners up emotionally, as I am communicating with them regularly. Instead of being the strict disciplinarian I needed to be in front of a big class, this is more of a relaxed environment.
- I can treat the learners as my own children and I do.
- I can encourage support from the school and the parents.
- I can communicate with my learners’ parents as much as I want and I do.
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