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Our teachers - Eugene Mathey

Briefly introduce yourselfEugene Mathey

My name is Eugene. I currently work at the Wits Language School as a Course Coordinator: Diploma in Legal Interpreting. I have been teaching for two years.

How did you decide on the teaching profession?

I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I finished my university education, I taught Afrikaans at a high school. I enjoyed it very much and would most likely still be a high school teacher were it not for the other passion in my life: interpreting. I left the high school to become a full-time interpreter for 8 years. After that I joined the WLS family where I had the opportunity to teach both English and Interpreting.

What is your teaching philosophy and classroom management style?

I believe that learning should be a team sport. I like to get learners involved in the whole learning experience. Learners should be able to give and take constructive feedback from both the trainer and each other. I believe learners should be challenged, but also trust that they will not be challenged beyond their abilities.

What do you enjoy about being a teacher?

The most rewarding aspect of being a teacher is when you see the results of your teaching. When I see students confidently use what they learnt and realise that they have mastered something and realise the value of it, I beam with joy!

What do you think is a common misconception your students have about you or teachers in general?

Students often think that it is our job to force feed them information. Look at what happens to geese when they are force fed! No, we come prepared with knowledge to present you with information, but it is your choice if you will take a bite or not. A teacher is like a chef, presenting the students with a buffet of knowledge, but what they take is up to them.

What do you think makes you unique as a teacher?

I try to be entertaining as well. I found that humor serves as a wonderful vehicle for learning. If I just dump a lot of information, lots of it gets lost, but if students can laugh and engage with the material, a lot more is retained.

Do you have any words of advice for students embarking on the EPD courses?

You need to put in some time at home. Language learning takes time. A teacher can do everything in class, but if you do not practise it at home, you are wasting your time.

Do you have a saying that you think sums up the teaching experience for you as an educator?

A teacher is the ghost writer of a student’s success.