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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

South African Teacher, Naomi Julius: Meet the Rose that Blooms Among 500 Students and 14 Teachers




When you think that you can't do it any more, meet Naomi Julius. A teacher who had me laughing and crying and inspired to overcome all excuses, particularly those I give myself in my own mind.

This teacher often has forty or fifty children in her school in this school in South Africa. Her comments on teaching and love for the children shine through for those who make make excuses for themselves. Sometimes one must see the true face of inspiration to realize that often we limit ourselves by our own mindset.

Her school, Hout Bay Secondary School has over five hundred students with fifteen teachers and a teaching principal. A more affluent school down the street has forty teachers for their 500 students! yet, even in the face of injustice she inspires.She has created an "enviro club" and as she greeted us teachers she said:
"usually we have one teacher and lots of students. Now we have lots of teachers and a few students, so feel free to grab one and teach them something!"
She also commented before I started filming that when she talks to parents about problems they say:
"I don't know what to do with them, that's why I send them to school."
"If I have a class of 40 and 5 get connected, then I can be proud. I can open opportunities for them, that is all I can do."
Also in this video is Maryam Allouzi principal of Al - Jubaine School in Jordan. We join them as they are discussing the difficulty motivating students when the news media paints a bleak picture of the potential for getting a job even with an education.


Her computer lab is old crt computers and boxy towers with 21 -- students work two per computer and they struggle just to teach the basics.


 Interestingly, because of size limitations, I've been hearing at the conference how many of these teachers are appreciating and  Mouse Mischief, a new free multipoint PowerPoint add in. I've found it fascinating how many of the african teachers have mentioned this one tool.


Naomi is inspiring. She has an enviro club and they were putting in a green house as we were meeting them. She does so much with so little and yet she feels she has so much.  My favorite quote -- when she was asked about how well she is paid, she said:


"I have enough for bread and if I do not have enough for butter, then I just do not buy the butter."


Naomi, what an inspiration to teachers around the world you are!


Note:
Part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Worldwide Innovative Education Forum 2010 series. Click the msief tag below to see all posts in this series.


Thank you to the kind commenter below who pointed out a flaw in the scrolling text in the original video. I've remixed and reuploaded the video and embedded above.
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