My name is Louise Liebenberg, and I am a lifelong teacher!
My teaching journey has literally taken me from north to south, east to west, inland and across borders. I think all teachers will agree when I say that being a teacher is not only a profession but a lifestyle. It’s a lifelong commitment and an inherent passion.
While my teaching career has been anything but straightforward, my commitment and passion have remained the driving force behind pursuing a career in education. Fresh out of university, I established myself as a teacher and taught for two years before marrying a farmer and moving to the midlands of Zimbabwe.
The move inevitably led me to think: “Well, that’s that then, no more teaching! I will never be able to teach Afrikaans in Zimbabwe!”. Little did I know that I would have an opportunity to take up a teaching position a few years later.
After 17 years at the University of Life, I accepted a position as an Afrikaans teacher at a private school in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. Just like that, I could step back into my passion. Having faced challenges and adversity in Zimbabwe, my family and I relocated back to South Africa at the end of 2014 after being in Zimbabwe for 23 years.
Back in South Africa, I decided to continue pursuing my passion for education and accepted a position as an Afrikaans teacher in Hartbeespoort. Shortly after, we had to relocate once again. This time we moved to the Bushveld, a small town called Tolwe. Tolwe is the proverbial ‘one horse town’. At this point, I wondered how I was going to teach and who I was going to teach.
Venturing into the unknown
Online teaching was the only way I could still do what I loved, so I ventured into the unknown. I started teaching English to Chinese students, then European students, and eventually, I taught adults as well.
This was a time of learning to the highest degree. Learning how technology works, how technology and education connect, and how to connect with students despite the physical distance was a steep learning curve but one for which I am incredibly grateful.
Also read: Do’s and don’ts of online learning
Teaching at the Impaq Online School
Today, I am an online educator teaching Afrikaans at the Impaq Online School. It allows me to connect with and reach learners from anywhere in the world, be it on a farm in Africa, Tolwe, or Pretoria. I can teach and reach learners from north to south, east to west, inland and across borders.
If my career in education has taught me anything thus far, it is that there is very little that can stop teachers and learners from reaching each other if there is a mutual commitment and passion for learning.