I've been teaching on and off since leaving school – in homes, schools, community organisations, university, a prison and an orphanage. I have taught in Nepal, the UK and South Africa. I wrote a book of fiction for my MA in Creative Writing and have tutored isiXhosa at university level. Since getting my Post-Graduate Certificate in Education, I have taught English and History at high school level. Most of my time is spent teaching English, and I am also the head of my school's History Department. For me, teaching is a career, a passion, a means of personal development and expression of creativity, a method of community-building, and my way of trying to build the kind of world I want to live in.
My teaching style is informal but rigorous. We read, write and discuss in each lesson. I have an excellent rapport with my students, and take their emotional needs and development seriously. I try to keep my classroom exciting, topical and unpredictable. Lessons involve individual, pair and group activities. I work to maintain a balance between pedantic attention to correct language usage, and nurturing the innate creativity of each student. I use a combination of visual, aural and tactile resources to cater to multiple learning styles. I regularly obtain feedback from students to facilitate the improvement of my own teaching practice.
During my MA: scholarships for excellence from the David and Elaine Potter Fellowship and the Eriksen Trust (2009-2010, University of Cape Town). During my teaching qualification: Twamley Scholarship for best academic performance in first year of study in Education (2011, University of Cape Town). During my BA: University Scholarships for excellence (2001-2003, University of the Witwatersrand); National Research Foundation funding (2006, University of the Witwatersrand); Awards for Best Student in English Literature (2001, 2002, 2003, University of the Witwatersrand); Best Student in Philosophy (2003, University of the Witwatersrand); Best Student in Creative Writing (2006, University of the Witwatersrand).
2011: Post-graduate Certificate in Education, with distinction (University of Cape Town). 2009-2010: Masters Degree in Creative Writing (University of Cape Town). My thesis was an original work of fiction: a novella and collection of short stories. 2006: Honours Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, with distinction (University of the Witwatersrand). 2001-2003: BA in Philosophy and English, with distinction (University of the Witwatersrand).
I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have worked not only as a teacher, but also as a publisher - at the largest independent publishing company in South Africa - and as a grassroots activist working for social change, specifically in the fields of safety and security and education. The process of working with writers to bring their books to life taught me a lot about writing and literature that has proved invaluable in the classroom. My experience as a community activist gave me insight into the needs of students who are not first-language English speakers.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Writing-Expository, Grammar, Specialty, Social Studies - History, World History, Arts & Music, Graphic Arts, EFL - ESL - ELD, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Short Stories, Writing, Oral Communication, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Poetry, Martin Luther King Day, Informational Text, Close Reading