- Full name and surname.
Marilyn Megan Jordan
Young at heart!
- Where were you born, grew up and attended primary and secondary school?
I was born in Pietermaritzburg and grew up in the community of Woodlands. My mother was a teacher for over forty years and my father an artisan. They are both retired living within the same community. My sister and twin sister are both teachers. I believe that this path was influenced by my maternal grandfather Richard Green-Thompson, a farmer from Ingogo in Newcastle who instilled a love for education within our family. My paternal grandfather, Martin Jordan, originally from Rietvlei, was also a school principal here in Estcourt for a period of time. I attended Woodlands Primary School from class 1 to standard five. My secondary education was at Little Flower School in Ixopo where I attended as a boarder and received a Catholic education for five years.
- What does your tertiary education consist of? And tell us why you chose this field?
My decision to become a teacher was influenced by a testimonial I received from one of my teachers in matric – “Marilyn will make an excellent teacher of English”. Ironically, my major subjects upon qualification were English and Biology.
I began my journey into teaching at Bechet Training College in 1988, where I obtained a four year Higher Diploma in Education, majoring in English and Biology. Concurrently, I obtained a Bilingualism Certificate – English and Afrikaans. In 1992, I was one of the 7 founding members appointed at Estcourt Secondary School. I had originally applied to schools within Pietermaritzburg, however by some possible divine intervention… my application forms were lost and I ended up being employed by Mr. J.C. Frank. I say divine intervention because it was here in Estcourt where I met my partner Lloyd Donnelly in 1992. Once I started teaching, I realised that the changes within the education system required that for me, to be more effective as a teacher of English, I needed to improve my practise by equipping myself with a qualification that allowed me to assist those struggling to acquire a second language. I therefore enrolled part-time at Natal College of Education in Pietermaritzburg, completing a Further Diploma in English Reading Teaching in 1999, under the late Gwyn Robertson. Upon my promotion to Head of Department for Languages, I completed my Bachelor of Honours Degree through the then University of Natal. I was appointed as a Deputy Principal at Estcourt Secondary in 2004 – also completing an Advanced Certificate in Education – Leadership, Management and Policy (Cum Laude). I am currently engaged in data collection for my Master’s Degree in Teacher Development Studies and intend to graduate in April 2019. In 2018 I completed an Extended Learning Course in Research, Monitoring and Evaluation. (UKZN) and have been positively influenced by my lecturer, Professor Paulus Zulu. I have a strong desire for learning and believe that every teacher should be a lifelong learner, displaying an ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge. I believe that the acquisition of any qualification must be with the sole purpose of improving ones practise.
5.You were appointed Principal at Estcourt Secondary School this year. Tell us about your journey at the school and what are three of your goals to achieve before the year is over?
As a founding member of the school, on a staff of seven teachers in 1992, to being appointed as Principal on a staff of twenty eight teachers in 2018, I believe that I am blessed to work with a dedicated and hard-working staff. I have had the opportunity to learn from my predecessors, Mr JC Frank and Mrs ST Juan and be mentored by Mrs. C. Lambert (Principal – Estcourt Primary). Mrs Sikhosane (Centre Manager – Mimosadale Teacher Centre) and my Senior Education Manager – Mr RB Smith upon my assumption of duty in 2018.
My vision has, and always will be to promote a value-based education. Having been a participant in the generation of my school’s vision and mission at the outset…
“We strive to provide a holistic education for life in a changing society. We aim to instil values of respect, tolerance and reverence in learners, so as to create responsible citizens.”
All my goals, both immediate and long-term are in support of this mission.
6.What does Women’s Month represent to you?
Each gender has its strengths and vulnerabilities and I believe that for our families, communities, society and country to grow, there needs to be an acknowledgement of the complementary role that genders play to each other. The month of August is an opportunity for women, to assert themselves and to show to their strength and power. As an admittedly stubbornly independent woman…I’d like to remind my sisters across communities that… “A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” — Nancy Rathburn.
7.If you had to choose two things to tell young girls to remember for the rest of their lives, what would it be?
*Educate yourself to gain independence!
*You are special. You are important. You are unique.
8.What is a quote/saying that you live by?
Respect begets respect…