There is no point in teaching if you are not learning alongside your students.

I met Gizelle in 2018 and soon realized that she is an awesome teacher and a great person. Since I started this blog I thought that I had to ask her to share her story because she is an inspiration. Gizelle has the ability to see an opportunity and grab it with both hands. If the going gets tough as they say Gizelle gets going. I am honored to have her as a friend and a colleague. Here is her story in her own words:

“My name is Gizelle Simpson, and I started teaching in 2010. I started teaching in the rural area of Atlantis in the Western Cape. I taught there for a year and then got a permanent position in Malmesbury at a high school. I was there from 2011-2018. This is where my passion for teaching with technology arose.

The class sizes were between 40-60 and teaching English to high school kids under those circumstances in itself was a challenge. I then decided after having an interactive whiteboard put in my class that I was going to have to use this in order to get my students excited about learning and me about teaching.

I decided to do some courses on the Microsoft educator center, and here I discovered the power of using technology effectively. My students started being engaged, they were no longer truant and started enjoying coming to class. They were engaged and I saw an increase in their performance on tests.

It was here I decided to an IBL project with my Grade 11 students using their novel at the time Buckingham Palace. It was the first time that this school was exposed to IBL. I entered this project into the Microsoft educator exchange program for an opportunity to go to Paris. This project awarded me the opportunity to go and meet and collaborate with 300 educators from across the world. What a life changing experience. I then decided to venture out and look for another opportunity. I wanted to share my new skill set with teacher and inspire them to teach with technology. In 2019 I started at Wynberg Girls’ Junior school as their ICT integrator. In this space I could not only share my knowledge and skills with the students but also with the teachers.

I will continue to advocate 21st century teaching and learning and encourage teachers to use technology in their teaching pedagogy. I want to inspire teachers and students alike to see the endless possibilities which lay ahead of them if they embrace the power of technology in teaching.

“There is no point in teaching if you are not learning alongside your students”

Gizelle Simpson”

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