Petronella has always loved Maths. The elegance of an equation. The way maths can be seen in everything, even the structure of a flower. While still at high school, she took part in Investec’s Promaths
partnership , where her talents were discovered. She was subsequently offered an internship on the Investec/ISASA South African Maths and Science Teacher Intern Programme (SAMSTIP),
in partnership with the Department of Basic Education.
This enabled her to study for her teaching degree while being mentored at one of Johannesburg’s top private schools. After graduating in 2016, she returned to her roots, bringing her maths teaching skills to the classrooms of Dobsonville, Soweto. She has also returned to the Kutlwanong Centre for Maths Science & Technology as a Promaths teacher.
Why did you go into teaching?
My own teachers had a powerful impact on my life. I remember when I was in Grade 2 and I was able to read the newspaper to my family. It felt like some form of superpower, being able to teach someone a skill like that.
Who have been your mentors through your journey?
I had several teachers who inspired me to see academics differently – including one who became a life mentor and who showed me compassion, love and support. When I saw the opportunities that I got from those teachers, and the way they motivated me to become a better version of myself, I figured that the only way to become a change agent myself was to go into teaching too.
How has Investec’s involvement in your teacher mentorship impacted your career?
Investec prides themselves in striving for excellence in everything they do, so their involvement in teacher development is about those excellent outcomes too. Through the programme, I was mentored by one of the best teachers in the field, who was actually one of the examiners of the Independent Examination Board (IEB). So I was exposed to her incredible work ethic, and discovered innovative ways to prepare and then teach students.