Introducing Ms Mncono, a Grade 3 teacher at Charles Duna Primary, Port Elizabeth. As a child Ms Mncono attended Grade 1 at Charles Duna Primary in 1977. In 1978 she left Port Elizabeth due to uprisings and moved to Fort Beaufort. In 1990 she started her first year at the Cape Teacher’s College in Fort Beaufort, and in 1992 she completed her 3 year Teachers Diploma. “My mother was so proud of me because I was the only child who passed matric and obtained a Teachers’ Diploma in the family.” She struggled to secure a teacher’s post and in 1994 she accompanied her son on his first day of school to Charles Duna. The Principal, Mrs Sume recognised her as she did her teaching practice at the school. She was interested to know what Ms Mncono was busy with and asked her to bring along her credentials. She secured a post as a substitute teacher for 2 years. In 1996 she was offered a permanent post.
Here are Ms Mncono’s reflections on her time spent with her Edupeg mentor, Beaulah Foley:
I am Ms N.E. Mncono from Charles Duna Primary school in Port Elizabeth. My mentor is Ms
Beaulah Foley from Edupeg. I enjoy working with her because she knows how to assist and support me into becoming the best teacher I can be. She has a way of working with the learners when she demonstrates a lesson. She shows interest in her work and always gives positive feedback after each lesson. She also gives lots of advice. We always look forward to her next visit.
I have learnt some strategies from her that have helped me a lot in improving my teaching. The entry and exit routines have helped with discipline when learners go out and enter the classroom. Having my learners sitting in groups helps a lot with controlling chaos, discipline and marking class activities. Listening skills of my learners have improved a lot, together with showing respect to one another. My learners are now used to the Do Now activity and enjoy having an activity that prepares them for the next lesson, especially Mental Maths. Teaching grammar has been a problem for me but with the introduction of it from a story, has helped me and the learners in improving the understanding of grammar. My learners can read a story in their groups and help one another. Group leaders have to see to the smooth running of the Group Reading method. This gives me a chance to move around and assist, especially if leaders need assistance. I am proud of my classroom because the walls are bright and learner friendly because of learner’s work.
My biggest challenge is the big number of learners in my class as I have 46 learners. Some of my learners have special needs that I am not trained for. I need assistance in helping learners who are struggling with reading as this affects the flow of reading during Group reading.
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Edupeg for offering me their mentor to support and assist me in improving in my teaching. The only person who used to appreciate my efforts was my late mother and now Edupeg has offered me a mentor that appreciates my work and pushing me to do my best. She has brought back my joy and dignity as a valued person in my teaching profession.
Ms Mncono and her mentor Beaulah have successfully implemented Teach Like a Champion techniques and strategies in her Grade 3 class, to see this “Champion” teacher in action watch this video.