Reshomile Primary School is situated in one of the most notorious suburbs in Johannesburg and is a school that has been affected by the non-availability of resources compared to the other Gauteng Edufundi supported schools.
To add insult to injury, the school has suffered the loss of some valuables like computers, laptops, etc. to thieves who constantly break into the school. Regardless of these setbacks, teachers in this school are always ready to be supported and implement different ideas.
The majority of teachers in this school have received support in three core challenges of teaching:
1. Behaviour and Culture
2. Academic Ethos
3. Checking for Understanding
This year in the Foundation Phase, two Grade 3 Heads of Department; Ms Rangwato and Ms Msomi are being supported. Ms Letsoalo, who is the deputy principal and in charge of remediation in the Foundation Phase, is also being supported. These three mentees are all SMT members and are committed to implementing the different techniques with their learners and in supporting their colleagues with the implementation and reinforcement of the non-negotiable techniques which the school selected from Teach Like A Champion.
The difference at the school has been noted by the Principal, Mrs Xulu, “Our mentors are really helping the school. There has been a lot of improvement through the implementation of the TLAC techniques. Our mathematics teachers are doing well and there is order and progress in the Foundation Phase. Overall, discipline has improved and there is order during lessons. The school appreciates all the support from the mentors.”
Although these mentees have a duty to do some school administration work, they always make time to be mentored and supported weekly. They always express their gratitude for the support with the different techniques as they say the constant use of them has changed learner behaviour to that of being respectful, orderly, obedient and attentive. The use of these techniques has also produced learners who can cooperate during group work activities, who are keen in assisting needy peers and above all, learners who create a positive and conducive atmosphere in the classroom. This is due to teachers embracing the technique, Culture of Error, where learners are free to participate in different activities without the fear of making mistakes as this is taken as part of learning.
Ms. Msomi commented that, “The support I’ve received from my mentor has enabled me to create a lively environment in my classroom and to support learners to communicate their ideas with confidence. My mentor has helped me to use different techniques to support me as an educator and to control discipline.”
Written by Linda Nobanzi