Cape Town teacher addresses global education conference
12 June 2020
Danielle van Eck, a Physical Sciences teacher at Protea Heights Academy (PHA) near Brackenfell, was one of the keynote speakers at an online international teaching conference.
More than 100 000 educators from around the world signed up for the T4 conference on Saturday, 30 May 2020 to discuss what the ‘new normal’ will look like for teachers as schools reopen after closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The conference deliberated well-being, technology, collaboration and leadership. The conference also included Teacher showcases to highlight some of the best practices in T4 topics at this time.
Van Eck shared the line-up with two former Global Teacher Prize winners Maggie MacDonnell and Andria Zafirakou, the CEO and founder of the Teacher Toolkit, Ross McGill, and Zainuddin Yousufzai, the father of Malala Yousafzai and a teacher and a peace, women's rights and education activist in the UK.
Van Eck, one of the Western Cape’s top teachers, spoke about teacher collaboration. She is involved with the Women in Science and PHA Science Week initiatives which focused on bringing schools from all over the Metro East District and the greater Western Cape together.
Van Eck imparted the following message: “As educators we need to now, more than ever, not work in silos. It is important that we as a community share our resources whether it be lessons, notes, activities, online resources or knowledge. Education in South Africa is at a precipice and we as educators have the opportunity to support each other and hopefully bring lasting change.”
The top takeaways from T4 included involving the local community and forming partnerships; getting involved with teacher organisations in a bid to influence decision making by speaking as a collective; taking charge of your own professional development; and the importance of teacher well-being since it has a direct impact on the well-being of learners, parents and communities.