Tag Archives: english

Application for the Writers Course 2013

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As an educator with over 15 years of experience both in the UK and South Africa , I have worked in high schools , primary schools and co-ed schools I now find myself working in the FET sector, teaching a new subject, which I am thoroughly enjoying and its allowing me to make an impact in my students lives.
Writing was never something, I thought I could do until last year when I was invited by an IT company to write blog posts on their site. Initially I wrote about my passions, my likes and my life and pretty soon became a regular contributor. A few months later I decided to start my own blog (http://www.spicegoddess.wordpress.com). My blog has over a thousand followers and I have written eighty plus posts and have done several posts as a guest blogger for other Bloggers. This then made me realise that I had a passion for writing and expressing my thoughts and sharing the world as I see it through my eyes. My friends, colleagues and family are amazed with my new hobby and my writing. The most common feedback I get is “well, you are a bookworm so it was bound to happen that writing would enter your blood”.
Last week I was asked by the Head of English at my college to teach her Level 2 English Lecturers about blogging as it was a section in the syllabus and no one had a clue. I was pretty surprised and honoured to have the chance to share my passion with my colleagues most of whom didn’t know I was a writer. I have now been asked our by campus training manager to put together a presentation for staff at all eight of our colleges on Blogging. So what started as a hobby has become a commodity I can trade in .As I walk through campus , I am often stopped by students who ask me about my blog and if I can help them . I feel honoured to be seen by many like a “Blog Guru”.
The college I work at is situated near the Lamontville Township area where most of our students are Black, the college runs two programmes; one for students with a matric pass and another for students without. Our college has high enrolment numbers as we offer our learners bursaries. These students are from disadvantaged backgrounds but have an undeniable thirst for knowledge. The courses that we offer are skills based and we offer in each programme English, Maths Literacy and Life Orientation with a computer element. The greatest challenge that affects our students is Language as for many English is a second and sometimes a third language.
Our classrooms are basic rooms with no charts or displays the learning environment is not one that encourages the student to learn. Students only have access to computers in their lesson time which is two hours a week, for many they have never used a computer before.
I have been at the college since 2011 and have tried various strategies to encourage my students to read and write better some of them include:
• Bringing old newspapers into class to encourage them to read in English as most only have access to Zulu papers.
• Students are encouraged to bring dictionaries to lessons.
• I also write keywords on the board at start of the lesson.
• In EBM (Entrepreneurship and Business management) students are required to write a Business plan. To aide students I supplied them with writing frames and examples of work.
I would love the opportunity to be chosen as part of this amazing programme for several reasons, some of which include improving my personal writing skills but most importantly being able to give my students the confidence and skills to become better speakers and writers of English. I firmly believe we all have a story within us that needs to be told and what better way than to teach my students the art of writing.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart – William Wordsworth ”

Blog Guru

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Friday morning while getting ready for work, I got the most interesting BBM message from my friend. My friend happens to be the Head of English at the college that I work in. Her request to me was if it would be possible for me to do a little presentation to the staff in her department on Blogging.

I was pretty gobsmacked and delighted of the chance to share some insight into the world of blogging to others. I grabbed my Tablet made some notes and went off to work pretty excited. These staff members didnt know anything about blogging at all so heres what i shared with them :

# Blogging is an online diary which can be accessed anywhere in the world.

# Some blog sites are free to blog on like WordPress and Blogspot.

# Anyone can blog and you can blog about anything.

# On your blog you can upload pics, links to music, videos.

# Blogs have a spellcheck feature.

# Its a form of Social Media which is very popular and linked to Twitter and Facebook.

I then shared my blog with them and some of my favourite blogs :

# http://www.geewhiskers.com

# http://www.suelevy.co.za

# http://glamorousglitter.blogspot.com

# http://stylesociety.co.za

I could see many of them looking confused but interested writing down notes and telling me they would defo read my blog.
I was so happy I could share my love of blogging with them.This got me thinking maybe I should study something in the field of media.
Ciao for now
xxx

First steps into adulthood

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Its very surprising to me that, I am now in the field of education for 13years. We sometimes need to reflect on our past journey to see how far we have really come.

My first job was at a boarding school in the Ixopo area.I had never lived away from home so a newbie out of university and a city girl this was a big change. I recall looking for cellphone reception as we drove to Ixopo, we have never been to this place so it was a defo a family roadtrip. As we got more and more inland on windy roads, I began getting a little nervous.

Eventually we arrived at the school, which immediately reminded me of an old English boarding schools much like the ones I read about. The setting and surroundings were breathtaking the rolling green fields described in Alan Paton’s book Cry the beloved country. Later I learnt that Alan Paton was actually the Headmaster of the school at some point how amazing.

It was a very small high school with only 500 boys and girls and only 25 staff. All staff lived on the premises ane were mostly husbands and wives. The girls hostel in which my flat was in was run by 2 very English matrons very typical to the books we all have read growing up. The garden even had English roses and hedges.

The school was steeped in tradition and sport. All staff were required to coach teams and be actively involved in extra curricular activities. As its such a small town there was not much to do so guess been involved in school life was not too bad. The town had 1 main street with roughly about 8 shops. Cabin fever especially for a city girl.I did things I never did before like coach a swimming team, start a supper theatre and host the first ever cultural day at the school.

Within that year, I applied for a job in the UK and was successful. Th headmaster was not happy about losing a young staff member. So in the same year that I started I left to start the new adventure in my life in London.

I did enjoy my first year of teaching, made some amazing friends, got to coach sports and got to know some fab kids who are all now grown up but still keep in touch. Its amazing how far and wide my journey has taken me. The road ahead now seems more amazing and I look forward to new adventures that my career path leads me too.

Ciao
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