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Seizing Opportunity

Meet Ms Mafentile, Grade 2 teacher at Xolani Primary School in Gugulethu, where she has been a teacher since March 2015 and has been on the Edupeg mentoring programme since the start of 2016, partnering with Foundation Phase Edupeg mentor, Lumka Mvunge. Prior to teaching at Xolani she had been teaching Grade R, but was looking for a primary level position. Xolani gave her that opportunity and she grabbed it with both hands.


Her biggest highlights since becoming a teacher have been noticing the difference between Grade R learners and Foundation Phase learners. Foundation Phase learners learn through play, but they have to learn more formal concepts to read, write, count and work with numbers. They start to learn how to handle writing material and books in the correct way. There are some children who have learning difficulties and like to play all the time and distract others, but Ms Mafentile ensures that struggling learners are given attention and the opportunity to improve.


Ms Mafentile has contributed positively to her school by ensuring her learners do not disturb teaching and learning in other classes, as well as making sure that teaching and learning in her classroom is effective. She says that Edupeg has played an important role for her as a teacher with our mentoring programme and that the techniques she’s learnt have helped her and she is able to share these techniques with her colleagues when they need advice on discipline, lesson preparation and learner involvement.


Edupeg has also helped her overcome some discipline challenges in her classroom. The continuous use of the Threshold, Entry Routine, Do Now and STAR/Slant techniques have helped to maintain a well-disciplined class. “With a disciplined class it’s easy to deliver the curriculum effectively”.


Ms Mafentile says that the techniques her mentor has introduced to her and helped her instil have helped her a lot. “As a new teacher I have tried these techniques and they are the best”. They assist her in enforcing discipline by giving clear guidelines on how to plan successfully and identify lesson objectives. The I, We, You technique helped her identify whether all learners had understood the concept and if not she repeats it so that no child is left behind. She uses the Do Now technique to check for individual understanding, as well as making use of Exit Tickets to inform her of the learners’ levels of understanding of the lesson taught to them.


She’s also learnt to give clear instructions to her learners and then lets them work on their own,

while circulating through her class to check if they are following the instructions properly and allowing for immediate feedback and correction. She also thoroughly enjoys including a Joy Factor in her class, introducing a song or a rhyme as it is important to make learners loosen up in class, but in a disciplined way.


Since being on the Edupeg mentoring programme she has noticed various positive changes. She is able to make learning effective, teaching the children how to read and write as well as communicate. “Having a mentor in my class boosted my confidence and self-esteem in teaching. I am able to reach all my learners’ needs. I have a well-disciplined class and can easily achieve my goals. Even if my learners are outside I am able to control them.” 


“Thank you Edupeg, today I am a proud teacher because I know I can contribute and make a difference to the development of the young minds of our nation.”

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