“The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is the power of teaching”.
This quote is by Aristotle one of the greatest teachers of all time.
On World Teacher’s Day, we not only focus on what makes a great teacher but we want to ‘brag’ a little about our amazing lecturers at Prestige Academy.
We interviewed three of our lecturers from the three different faculties (Faculty of Arts & Design; Faculty of Information Technology & Faculty of Business) so you can gain insight into how amazing our lecturers are and how their knowledge can contribute to you having a better learning experience!
Mr. Willie Bouwer is a 3D Animation lecturer and programme coordinator in the Faculty of Arts & Design at Prestige Academy. Mr. Bouwer studied towards a National Diploma in Film Technology in 1997 from Tshwane University and positioned himself as a master in the field of 3D Animation.
He came from humble beginnings and started out as a film intern for a local television programme and shortly thereafter created stop-motion animation for MNET where he was rewarded the first prize in the EDIT 2000 competition.
It is here that his passion and love for Animation started and has recently completed his Doctor Technologiae in Motion Picture Production. “I love to tell stories”, he says, “and the students are intrigued when they hear about the research I am doing on Computer Generated Actors (CGA/CGI) and how audiences react to CG Characters and how realistic you can make them look, as measured against the uncanny valley.” This is based on the gradient by which the animated character projects real-life characteristics and features. Mr. Bouwer’s research article was recently published in the Computer Games Journal.
His industry experience in the film helped to shape his career in the 3D Animation field and he carries this over to his students in the class, at the same time making learning fun! He was awarded the Best Lecturer’s Award in 2008 at Prestige Academy.
Mr. Charles Du Toit head of the Faculty of Information Technology says his students and their learning experience is as important to him as if they were part of his family. Mr. Du Toit has been a lecturer at Prestige Academy for almost 18 years and he too has industry and life experience that greatly contributes to his hands-on student-centered teaching style. “When I was little we traveled a lot and I quickly learned how to talk to people and this is a great asset when I am teaching. I treat my students as students, talking to them on a level that they would understand and where they feel comfortable to engage with me and the other students in the class,” he says.
“I like to keep things light and fun for the students and in doing so many students have stayed in touch over the years.” Mr. Du Toit mentions that some of these students started their own I.T. businesses or ended up in Management Positions at well-known I.T. businesses, but they never forgot what they were taught in class and how that helped them to develop skills that were needed in the “real world”.
And of course, we won’t fail to mention that Mr. Du Toit has all the accredited backing when it comes to being an I.T. lecturer. He is Internationally Accredited with various IT certification behind his name and he is currently studying part-time towards an Honours Degree in Knowledge & Information Systems Management at Stellenbosch University. He is also a Certified Webmaster and worked in the industry as a Corporate Freelance Network Administrator and trainer. And then, of course, he is the undefeated Potjiekos Champion at Prestige Academy!
A new addition to the Lecturing Team at Prestige Academy is Ms. Jaydene Cupido who teaches Business Communication, Public Relations and Academic Literacy in the Business Faculty as well as Interpersonal Communication and Presentation Skills in the Arts & Design Faculty. Ms. Cupido brings tons of industry experience to the table and is currently studying towards a Masters Degree in MA Media Theory and Practice. She is a qualified journalist and started lecturing at the age of 22.
“Teaching is a calling and it is very fulfilling. When graduates walk onto the stage it is comforting to know that you played a small part in their learning experience,” she says. She explains her teaching style: “In the Public Relations module, I continually ask students in the first semester what is happening in the news and the world around them. By the second semester, these same students come into class telling me what is current and relevant in the news without me having to ask.” Ms. Cupido says that it is this and other small things that make you proud to be a lecturer. “My rule is that I know every student’s first name within the first month of the year. I want my students to know that I care. It is an honor and privilege to see these students grow.” She does mention that there are no holding hands, but it’s not all serious as she never forgets the funny moments in class.
Mr. Bouwer, Mr. Du Toit and Ms. Cupido are just three examples of the exemplary lecturers at Prestige Academy and we celebrate World Teacher’s Day in honor of the hard work and effort all of our lecturers put in.
So to answer the above question on what makes a great teacher: A great teacher is defined not only by what they know but also by what makes them human and how they master the discipline of carrying over a message that will be remembered long after they are gone.
To all the teachers and lecturers on World Teacher’s Day – we salute you!