Teaching as many may know is not as easy as it may seem. It is embedded with many different facets to which a teacher has to adapt to. You have a duty of teaching, caring, disciplining, alongside many others. Being a novice teacher and having to adapt to these demanding roles was extremely challenging. Especially when it came to ensuring that my learners were all paying attention and absorbing what was being taught. However, when I was chosen to be a part of the Edufundi project, teaching has never been the same.
When one thinks of a ‘mentor’, you automatically incline that person to be intimidating. This was not the case with my mentor Pam. She is much older than I am, and is a woman who possesses an array of knowledge and never was I made to feel insecure about my teaching. She instilled in me her excellent practices which have proved to be immensely effective in my classes. Learners were more interested in my lessons, behaviour changed, which ultimately resulted in an improvement in learners results.
To mention a case, I had a learner named Thabiso Ndlovu in my class and he had a short attention span as well as a learning disability. This impacted on his work, as it would always be incomplete. However, after the introduction of the Edufundi techinques such as the turn and talk and the joy factor he began to become more comfortable and more motivated to speak. He started to answer questions in class and payed more attention in class. He was excited to engage in classroom discussions. This overall impacted positively on his work.
In another case, a learner named Tyreese Kunjal, was ADHD, thus getting him to be attentive in class was a huge mission. However with the help of the STAR technique he learnt how to manage his behaviour and he started to focus more in class. There were many other learners who improved through the use of the techniques. This is the kind of support teachers need to make themselves better at what they do. The methods and techniques which they teach you are not forced upon you, hence you are not forced to do something if it doesn’t work for you.
To my mentor, I want to thank you for all that you have taught me. I believe my success in the classroom is at least in part due to your sincere support and mentorship. In you I have found an excellent friend, teacher, mentor and a great inspiration for me. You have shown me the value of honesty, sincerity and moreover trust. I truly appreciate and value everything I have learned from you. The techniques and methods will forever remain a major contributor behind my success and achievements as a teacher. I look forward to the day I can do the same for someone else.
Thank you, once again, for your time, support and patience.
Written by Risha Rambali