Edupeg recently hosted a series of eight very successful leadership workshops across the country with the management teams of all the schools we work in. The main objective of these workshops was to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of our work in the schools we support for many years to come.
The focus of the workshops was to receive feedback on the support we gave the schools in 2016, to share and collaborate on ideas to support one another in fostering a culture of professional development and to establish what support is required by the school leadership team to ensure the implementation and effectiveness of our support. The workshops also focused around our shared goal of creating excellent teachers and outlined our plans for 2017. We received valuable feedback from all workshops held around the country as well as support from all schools.
In this blog Sibongile Godlwana (Mrs G), our Foundation Phase mentor at these schools, shares the feedback from our workshop for five of her FP&M Seta supported schools in KwaZulu-Natal, held at Garden Court Umhlanga. The workshop was well attended and the enthusiasm was already brewing in the foyer before the event kicked off. Teachers from the different schools greeted each other warmly, partly due to the previous workshops we’ve held, bringing the different schools together for professional development, creating a network of teachers within close proximity to each other.
The comments, suggestions and feedback given by the schools showed tremendous interest in Edupeg and many schools expressed their wishes to align their visions and missions to support the Edupeg mentorship programme. One school, Zuzokuhle Primary, had the idea of creating an Edupeg Professional Learning Committee (PLC) to support both existing and new teachers with the ‘Teach Like a Champion’ techniques. Further solutions for implementing the teaching techniques when the Edupeg mentors were not in their schools were discussed and one idea was for the schools themselves to hold a meeting once a term to share the progress of the techniques in their classrooms and share ideas on how they could support one another. The sharing of ideas will enable the schools to take the techniques to greater heights.
To acknowledge the involvement in and commitment to our project, all schools received a beautiful, colourfully framed certificate, sponsored by Nashua, for their participation and partnership with us, which was followed by a cheerful photo session as everyone captured this day of sharing and acknowledgement. They commented that this added a ‘Joy Factor’ to the day.
(L-R) Bonisanani, Dalmeny, Phelelani, Zamimfundo and Zuzokuhle Primary School.
Subsequent to the workshop, Mrs G conducted follow up sessions with those principals and teachers who attended to hear their comments about the day – they all commented that the venue was very conducive to gaining maximum output from the workshop and that: “Edupeg gave us the respect that we did not envisage even in the near future. It was a wow”. Furthermore, they commented that the welcome and warmth shown by Edupeg CEO, Taryn Casey, and Office Manager, Tia Rohlandt, was superb, making them feel extremely welcome and respected and part of a collective family.
(L-R) Edupeg Office Manager Tia Rohlandt, CEO Taryn Casey and Teach Like a Champion Consultant Lynda Swinbourn
The presentation by Taryn was welcomed as it demonstrated to the schools the vision Edupeg has for them and that we plan far in advance to ensure success. The participants particularly enjoyed the videos presented as they were able to see the techniques in action, further cementing their effectiveness and their ability to be used with effect in any classroom – as well as recognising the transferability of these skills. The School Management Team bought further into the project saying they feel these techniques should be used in all classes in their school. “As managers of schools we loved the workshop and it was an eye opener to all of us on how our schools should operate so that the level of learner performance improves. Edupeg is indeed a good programme.”
They also appreciated the support from Mrs G, reminding them of the workshop and ensuring they all arrived at the venue on time, keeping in contact with them and providing them with directions. This showed them a good example of a person who cares about her schools, as well as good time management skills – something Mrs G is encouraging them to improve in their schools.
We are grateful for these reflections as they confirm how vital it is to include the leadership of our schools in the planning and development aspects of our support. We thank all Principals, Deputy Principals, and HODs who attended and we look forward to working hand in hand in 2017.
Ntuzuma and KwaMashu cluster of schools leadership representatives together with Edupeg CEO, Taryn Casey and their mentors, Mrs G and Robyn Pitot.
The accommodation for Head Office staff from Cape Town and the venue and catering for the event was very generously fully sponsored by Tsogo Sun. We thank Tsogo Sun for their continued and valuable partnership with Edupeg.