Few things bring Stéfan Koekemoer as much joy as learning and helping others learn. “I became a teacher to share my love of learning and to help others build confidence in their own skills and intellectual abilities.” Koekemoer knew he wanted to become a teacher after tutoring college and high school students during his undergraduate years. “Seeing my students grow more confident and more adept at reading, writing, and analysis was deeply rewarding and I quickly realized that I wanted to become a teacher.”
“I chose to join JPII because its values resonate with my own and also because I found the English program (with its focus on great literature) to be very impressive and exciting,” he said. At JPII, he looks forward to connecting with students and sharing his love of literature and language, exchanging ideas, and seeing students grow in both their personal and intellectual pursuits.
When asked to share his teaching style and philosophy, Koekemoer shared that he designs his classes and assignments around accommodating various learning styles and needs. “While my teaching does regularly include mini-lectures, my classes are chiefly structured around student interaction, whether it be in the form of free-writes, hands-on activities, group discussions, or full class discussions.” Koekemoer sees engaging students on a personal level as essential to teaching because it allows students to feel more comfortable in asking questions. “Providing an open channel of communication between teacher and student maximizes learning potential while making learning truly rewarding and enjoyable. I strive, moreover, to make English literature come alive and to feel relevant and exciting to my students.”
For the past three years, Koekemoer has taught English at the University of New Mexico where he earned his master’s degree in English. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Medieval Studies from Rutgers University. In his free time, he loves going on hikes, swimming, and spending time with his family. He also likes spending his time reading, writing, drawing, playing music, and working on his own academic research.