Sandra Linda Khoza
Capricorn High School, Polokwane, Limpopo
Sandra Khoza started teaching at the tender age of 23, which is very young for the demanding job of teaching. Although a bit overawed at first, she mustered her courage and overcame her fears before going into class. Khoza initially wanted to become a pharmacist but circumstances forced her to take teaching instead; she is grateful for the choice she made, and swears that nothing will lure her away from the profession.
Khoza uses the latest technological devices such as the internet, simulation, games, role play and so on to enhance and make her lessons exciting. These, she says, help the learners to understand the concepts easily. She reckons the widespread stereotyping of physical science as a “difficult” subject comes mainly from parents and the community at large.
Says Khoza: “When I decided to take physical science in high school, as one of my subjects, my aunt said asked disapprovingly, ‘do you want to repeat matric eight times?’ I just laughed it off. Although science is a little bit abstract, it is, however, not difficult. It just needs time, passion and dedication. You need to understand what you are doing and be part of the processes involved. If you study it as a subject from somewhere, not a subject from around you, you will experience that difficulty. Hence I use what is available around my learners.”
Khoza says she “felt humbled, because I was nominated from district level and if the district could recognise my effort, it is something really encouraging”. She adds: “When I was nominated as the best teacher in the province, I saw the positive impact this had on my school, and particularly on the learners. Even those who were less enthusiastic about their schoolwork started pulling up their socks, promising not to let me down. So I really appreciate their recognition.”
Though by virtue of her winning the category she is deemed the best in science in her province, Khoza still learns from and consults with her colleagues. “You cannot teach physics as an island. And it is boring to use same methods over and over again, which is why constant self-improvement is important — otherwise you will become irrelevant to your class”.