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 Alena Oosthuizen

B.A. (Honours) (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)
LLB (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)
B.Ed. (University of Toronto)
Joined Branksome in 2004
Diploma Program Coordinator

“Being a novice skier constantly reminds me that we all learn at different speeds and in different ways.”
Teaching is my second career, carefully chosen. After practising as a magistrate and prosecutor in Johannesburg, South Africa, I found myself living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I initially taught English at the post-secondary level, at Effat, a private women's university — it is from this experience that my love for teaching became entrenched.
I also taught at the Continental School, where I was first introduced to the IB Program and the many advantages it offers students across the world.
I would have to travel a long way to find a school that provides as many opportunities as Branksome Hall. The range of speakers who I have been privileged to hear continues to astound me—from Roberta Bondar to Carol Dweck and Deepa Mehta; the list is awe-inspiring.
The professional development opportunities for faculty and staff are varied and extensive. I have been fortunate to attend numerous IB conferences and workshops on pedagogy, child psychology and mental health.
Branksome recognizes the value of community service for students and employees. Our day of service in November, when all staff and faculty were involved in volunteer activities, remains one of the highlights of my Branksome year.
I pride myself in being a lifelong learner and risk-taker. I believe that learning is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. For that reason, I started taking piano lessons two years ago and am dedicated to the goals I have set myself.
In my classroom, I try to engender a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge that goes beyond the literature that we study.

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