Meet the Student Ambassador: Genevieve Hartzenberg

From Bloemfontein to the Classroom: My Unexpected Path to Teaching 

Hi there! I’m Genevieve, and I’m passionate about working with young children. They have this incredible capacity for wonder and learning, and it’s truly inspiring. I’m currently in Instill Education’s Foundation Phase programme, and while teaching is where my heart is now, the journey here definitely had a few unexpected turns. 

The Shift from Criminology to Classroom 

My academic background might surprise you – I spent my undergrad years delving into the fascinating world of Criminology and Psychology. While those subjects were intellectually stimulating, they didn’t quite ignite the same fire in me. In 2019, everything changed when I began working as a Edutech facilitator at Fordsburg Primary School. Being in that classroom environment, witnessing the joy of discovery firsthand, sparked a passion for education I never knew existed. The opportunity to nurture young minds, to guide them on their learning journey, became a profound motivator. 

Life Happens: Putting Wellbeing First 

My journey into teaching hasn’t been without its challenges. I enrolled in Instill’s PGCE programme in 2023, but life had other plans. I made the difficult but necessary decision to pause my studies to prioritise my mental and physical health. Looking back, it was about recognizing that taking care of myself was essential to achieving my goals. A healthy and supported educator is far better equipped to create a positive and nurturing environment for their students. 

My Vision for Modern Education

Now I’m back in the program and more determined than ever to make my mark in the education world. I’m not interested in replicating the traditional classroom model. I believe in fostering engaging, dynamic learning spaces that celebrate every child’s strengths and cater to their individual needs. With the 4th Industrial Revolution upon us, equipping students with practical, future-focused skills is more important than ever. This means not just rote memorization, but fostering a love of learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. Imagine classrooms where students can explore subjects like entrepreneurship and coding, developing the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

My Support Network: The People Who Inspire Me 

None of this would be possible without my incredible support team. My uncle, David Fransman, is a seasoned educator with over 34 years of experience. His wisdom and dedication to the profession are a constant source of inspiration. And a huge shout-out to Mrs. Fynn and Mrs. Woodworth, who instilled in me a deep sense of professionalism and unwavering dedication to this profession. Their commitment to their students and their craft continues to motivate me. 

Time for a Change: Elevating Education 

I have big dreams for the future of education. I envision a practical curriculum that nurtures individual talents, where learning goes beyond the textbook and embraces real-world applications. Imagine classrooms that are collaborative, where students can learn from each other and develop strong communication skills. This is the kind of learning environment I want to create – a space that fosters not just academic success, but well-rounded, future-ready individuals. 

My story might be a little unconventional, but it speaks to the power of finding your passion and pursuing it with resilience. If you’re considering a career in education, I

wholeheartedly encourage you. Instill Education has fantastic programmes that will equip you to become the kind of educator who makes a genuine difference. 

Let’s work together to shape a brighter future for the next generation!