TEACHER MENTORING PROJECT
In 2000, for the second consecutive year, SAWW placed two teacher mentor volunteers, Jasminie Singh and Jennifer Walcott, with Moshoeshoe Junior Primary School. Here follows their report.
is located in Daveyton, a township outside of Benoni; about thirty minutes
drive from Johannesburg in Gauteng Province.
we arrived on July 19, a new principal had just been appointed. The
previous principal, Mrs. Windy Gabashane, left the school in January
to take up a post with the District Office of the Gauteng Department
The new principal, Mrs. Denise Pillay, began on July 17. An acting principal had held the position between January and July. We found that the school was prepared for our visit.
Mrs. Pillay and Mrs. Gabashane introduced us to the staff and school. Mrs. Gabashane and her husband hosted us during our three- week stay.
After visiting classes and speaking with teachers during the first three days, we determined that the best use of our skills would be to focus on language and literacy.
Jasminie would be working with Foundation Years (Grades One to Three), while Jennifer would work primarily with Grades Six and Seven English language teachers.
Observations and Follow up to Moshoeshoe Mentoring.
Teachers at Moshoeshoe work under difficult conditions even though the school is relatively well resourced. Classes are large and teachers teach a full timetable with little time for planning and sharing during the instructional school day, especially at the primary level. The teaching takes place in English, but the practice is to transfer between English and first language quite frequently which makes English language acquisition quite slow. Methods for balancing reading, writing, speaking and listening need to be enhanced; as well, teachers need help with planning for remedial and extension activities. Our picture (right) shows Grade 2 students reading on a warm winter day.
Thank you to the Canadian organizers from SAWW, as well as, our hosts, staff, teachers, students and their families in South Africa. You have welcomed us into your country, school, homes and hearts. We feel we are part of your South African family.
Jasminie Singh and