My name is Tasneem Jacobs and I am a Foundation Phase teacher currently teaching Grade 3. I started teaching in the year 2018. Being a novice teacher, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles every day. My first year of teaching was the most difficult year of my career. I was unsure about how to handle difficult situations and was faced with many different challenges which drove me into questioning my capability. I would ask myself whether I have made the right decision to pursue this profession. I felt unmotivated and I was in and out of the doctor throughout the year. The pressure and stress that went along with no motivation, proper guidance and support made me wish for the year to be over.
In 2019 I was chosen to be part of the Edufundi programme. I had no idea what it was all about and quite honestly I had my doubts, however I did not know that this was the start of my journey on becoming a passionate and enthusiastic teacher. The programme has changed my second year of teaching completely for the better. From the moment that my mentor Karin walked into my classroom, I felt a sense of comfort and warmth. She has observed the way I taught and how things were done in my classroom and has critically guided me by motivating me and teaching me that being a teacher can be fun. I have utmost respect for her as she has taught me different teaching techniques that has made it easier for me to manage my learners, how to organise my day so that I am not exhausted at the end of the day and how to get to know my learners better.
My mentor Karin Stevens has changed my teaching career in ways that I would never have imagined. I never thought that I would be where I am today all because of the opportunity that I received. She was my daily motivation and that is all a novice teacher needs, as it is tough and overwhelming. The techniques that I have learnt have changed my learners’ behaviour and attitude towards their work and school in itself. They have become more comfortable in the environment where they are taught and feel free to make mistakes and learn from them.They can ask or answer questions and they will get praised for their opinions. The change in me as a result of the programme has changed the attitude of my learners. I am much more confident to teach, to make mistakes and I have a better understanding of the way things are done effectively in the classroom. I am very excited to start my third year of teaching to implement what I have learnt and been taught – all thanks to the Edufundi programme.
I encourage teachers out there who are asked to be part of the programme, to grab the opportunity with both hands, as it is life changing. I think that it is important for novice teachers to have a mentor who will guide and motivate them the same way I was motivated.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us Tasneem - you teach like a champion!