Meet the Student Ambassador: Kirsty Hall

From Pliés to Textbooks: My Unexpected Journey into Teaching

Hi everyone, I’m Kirsty, and I’m a student in Instill Education’s Foundation Phase Teaching programme. Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs, right? Well, mine has definitely taken a few unexpected turns, which is why I think my story might resonate with some folks out there.

From Ballet Shoes to Boardwork

Growing up, ballet was my life. Tutu, tights, the whole shebang. It was lovely, but I knew deep down it wasn’t my forever plan. After that, I gave HR a go – a complete change of scenery! Turns out, I’m much better suited to working with kids than spreadsheets and office politics.

The real turning point came when I was an au pair. Seeing the joy of learning spark in those little ones’ eyes – that was a game-changer. I enrolled in the Foundation Phase Teaching programme, and after my first practicum, I knew I was well and truly hooked.

Switching Gears Mid-Stream

Let’s be honest, my academic journey hasn’t exactly been linear. Remember that first-year freedom? Sure do, and it was fantastic while it lasted. But HR just wasn’t fulfilling for me. Taking a different path was daunting, but absolutely the right call.

Currently, I’m tutoring Grades 3 and 7, and there’s nothing quite like seeing that “aha!” moment when a student finally grasps a tricky maths concept. That’s why I want to be a teacher – someone who genuinely cares for their students and helps them build confidence.

Fixing Our Education System: A Shared Goal

We all know South Africa’s education system faces challenges. My dream is for every child to have access to a high-quality education, regardless of their background or resources. That means better resourced schools, smaller class sizes, and a shift in how the Department of Basic Education operates. Teachers need more support too – a stressed-out educator can’t be their best for their students.

Finding Inspiration and Support

This journey hasn’t been without its bumps, but my partner has been my rock. His positive outlook is contagious, and it constantly reminds me why I’m pursuing this path. A massive shoutout as well to my life skills teacher who truly understood my mental health struggles. That experience solidified my desire to create a safe and supportive classroom environment where open communication is encouraged.

So, there you have it – me, the former ballerina, accidental HR person, and now a passionate soon-to-be teacher. My story is a testament to the power of self-discovery and following your passions. My path highlights the diverse journeys that can lead to a fulfilling career in education. Instill Education has been instrumental in supporting me on this path, and I’m excited to join a community of like-minded educators who are dedicated to making a positive impact on young learners’ lives.