I am Linda Nobanzi who teaches grade 7, English FAL at Ebongweni Primary School in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. I have been teaching for thirty years. I joined Edupeg in 2017 and being mentored by Vuyokazi Mgadla. I am somebody who loves children and who is eager to learn and find new information and skills that will help me to develop the minds of the South African children.
Before I joined Edupeg, I thought I knew everything regarding my subject since I was trained and taught for thirty years and attended many workshops. At first I did not see the need for me to get mentorship. I was very sure of myself. I asked myself, ‘What information will I get after so many years”. “What will I do with this information since I am 56 years old because I can leave the Education System whenever I want to go on retirement. At the end I decided to participate in the programme just to please my SMT. I think I was being ignorant. The SMT reminded me that I was the one who was always complaining about the discipline in our school. They told me that this would help me with the discipline in the classroom.
The techniques I learned brought back the discipline without shouting. They brought back enthusiasm and a love of the subject between the teacher and the learners. Now I am a change agent. When I was presenting my lessons I used to jump from the “I’ part of the lesson to the independent activity which is the “You” part. Now this is history. My confidence as a teacher has been boosted by using Edupeg TLAC techniques. When I am presenting a lesson in my class I am no longer feeling uncertain because of the support that we are getting from Edupeg. Having a gap with this part of a lesson I was unable to determine areas of misunderstanding or need for additional instruction until my learners do the independent activity. I also realised that it is my responsibility to provide learners with lots of opportunities to practice skills they are learning. This has lead me to conduct a classroom that offers the learners clear instruction and the environment for many opportunities where the learners feel comfortable to approach me when they have an issue or question.
Moving from group to group, giving clear, corrective feedback in the shortest amount of time has also worked wonders in my classroom. I see guided practice as an excellent way for me to review the effectiveness of my lesson because when my learners are engaged in guided practice I am able to see how well they can master the skill.
As a mentee for Edupeg I see the importance of engaging the learners in guided practice for we all learn better when we are engaged in practice and are given reinforcement. Now I make sure that learning is a process in which my learners are interactive and engaged, not stressed out. My learners have developed proficiency through practice under my guidance.
Thank you Edupeg, I also learnt that errors and mistakes are an integral part of the learning process and through practice with feedback the learners learn to correct errors or mistakes and master a skill or concept.