Thandolwethu Jele

I am a high school teacher specialising in Natural Sciences and Life Sciences Education and am currently the sole science teacher at a school that provides a safe learning environment for vulnerable and/or at-risk youth. I have four years of volunteer experience in the Community/Youth Development space, two years of experience in Agriculture, as well as experience as a hands-on Research Assistant and Laboratory Demonstrator in the fields of Biology and Ecology. I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Cape Town and a BSc in Agriculture (Agribusiness: Wildlife Management Science) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. As an effort towards continuous professional development, I am currently enrolled for an Advanced Certificate in Teaching Natural Sciences with a focus on Sustainability and Environmental Education. As the current Grade 9 Head, I oversee administrative processes, ensure the physical and emotional well-being of learners, and assist learners with subject choices for Grade 10. This role involves engaging with parents/guardians, participating in school management team meetings, and serving as the first point of contact for discipline issues. I became a teacher to empower youth, instil a love for science, and guide students in planning their future pathways. My vision for education in South Africa revolves around providing quality education and ensuring a safe learning environment that fosters critical thinking and practical applications. As a change agent teacher, I strive to create an inclusive, student-centred learning environment that embraces diversity and empowers learners as thinkers. Through the Teachers CAN Fellowship, I aim to collaborate with peers in developing innovative teaching practices. As a curious person, my superpower is encouraging curiosity in the classroom. I am always looking forward to asking ‘why’ and discovering the power of learners as out-of-the-box thinkers and creators of knowledge. My achievements include the Jakes Gerwel Fellowship, Black Women in Science Fellowship, Mandela Washington Fellowship, L.R. Carney Prize is Zoology: Vertebrae Biology (UKZN), Eskom Expo for Young Scientists: Nationals Gold and Bronze Medals.

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