Meet Robin Nomens, an educator at Roodepan High School. She is a Departmental Head of Sciences and part of the school management team. This former student from NWU Potchefstroom Campus is currently pursuing a two-year Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Leadership through NWU Distance Learning.
Where are you from?
My hometown is Barkly West in the Northern Cape, and currently I’m living and teaching in Kimberley, also in the Northern Cape.
What’s your favourite quote?
The sky is the limit… “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
What are you most excited about for 2023?
Completing my first year of postgraduate studies.
What motivated you to choose NWU for your distance learning journey?
I completed my BEd degree at NWU. I feel more comfortable with the NWU systems and ways of doing things. I also have a lot of friends that completed postgraduate studies through NWU and are currently working as lecturers and managers at NWU.
What do you hope to discover this year?
I’m currently a departmental head for sciences at my school (4 years) and part of the management team of the school. I see myself in the next two years as a deputy principal or a learning area manager. I therefore hope and believe during this course I will discover a lot of management and leadership skills that will help me to develop professionally in my current position and for my future goals.
What is the one risk you don’t regret taking?
Doing part-time studying can be very challenging, both financially and physically, but I really don’t regret the risk I took. My first year is almost finished and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and skills that I can use daily in my workplace. I lead and manage better than 4 years ago.
What is your favourite memory from R&O/your first year?
My residence memories, my friends all over South Africa, my lectures, and traditions we had at NWU like RAG, “kuiers”, Lover’s Lane, and just that fresh air, the trees, and calmness on campus.
What do you value the most about being part of NWU’s Distance Learning community?
If I have a problem, I get help as soon as possible directly from my lecturer or the Distance Learning Unit. We also have groups where we try to help each other who are studying the same course.
If you could offer advice to a prospective first-year distance learning student, what would it be?
Time management and dedication are very important, and you need to choose something that you will enjoy.
What experience should every NWU Distance Learning student include on their bucket list?
Finish your course and get the qualification you study towards.
What’s the most significant lesson you’ve learned throughout your time as a distance learning student at NWU?
Time management can make distance learning a walk in a park. Hard work and dedication pay off.
What challenges did you face during your time at the university, and how did you overcome them? Did you have any particularly rewarding experiences or achievements that you are proud of?
I came from an Afrikaans school, so translating science textbooks and terminology to Afrikaans was very challenging, but as time went by it was no longer a problem and today, I can teach sciences in both English and Afrikaans. I will never forget when I was first introduced to computers during my first year. The module was CMPF. I didn’t even know how to switch on a computer since we were never exposed to computers at school. Fortunately, I made friends, and the lecturers were also helpful. While I initially failed the module, I eventually passed. Today I complete 90% of my tasks using a computer, and the anxiety I had working on a computer has disappeared. My average was always good, and I received a lot of academic discounts while studying. During my studies I was always amongst the top learners especially in Life Sciences and was used in my 3rd or 4th year as a “dummy” junior lecture demonstrating lessons for other students.
Could you share any research, internships, or practical engagements during your NWU Distance Learning journey? How did they prepare you for your future goals, academic or personal?
Professionally studying towards this diploma, I have gained so much knowledge and skills, and already it improved my practices at school, and I even share these skills and knowledge with my colleagues. Studying towards this diploma has open already so many doors for me professionally. I really can’t wait to complete this diploma next year. This is one of the keys that will unlock all my dreams.