"I am Melandri Ricci, a teacher at Machiu Primary School. I have not yet been teaching for as long as many other teachers at my school, but I’m sure there is one thing that many of us can agree upon – life in the classroom is not always easy.
Day in and day out I find myself faced with many challenges, which tend to make the day itself challenging. I’m faced with difficult learners who test me beyond measure and those who fail to work and co-operate when needed. The list gets longer on some days more than others. I can, however, say that I saw some light at the end of the tunnel the day my mentor, Beaulah Foley, walked into my classroom and introduced me to the Teach Like a Champion techniques. She has been of great assistance to me and my learners, and I have learnt a great deal from her.
The Edufundi programme gives teachers practical techniques to use. I have greatly benefited from many of them. Firstly, to ‘begin with the end in mind’ and think carefully about my Objective for each lesson. Then, to use the Double Plan to ensure more structured lessons with a beginning, middle and end. I have realised that this approach allows for more learner engagement and less teacher talk, so I get to hear and see more of what my learners know. It also caters for group work and this assists the learners greatly – especially as they learn from one another. By using the Double Plan and planning lessons properly, Joy Factor comes naturally. During my lessons I circulate and use the 3:30:30 technique. In this way my learners are aware of what they must do and I can see when someone needs assistance. I am also able to praise them for work well done. Learners are aware that I am constantly watching them and therefore they work hard and give of their best. My class feels more comfortable now asking and answering questions – even when they might be unsure or make a mistake – as there is a Culture of Error. They know that we are there to learn from our mistakes and from one another. Praising learners for correct answers, as well as for trying, makes them even more motivated to ask and answer questions as they realise being part of the lesson is important and it will broaden their knowledge. By using the No Opt-Out technique I can help my learners correct themselves when they give an incorrect answer, and truly understand where they went wrong. Lastly, I am able to check whether my Objective was achieved by making use of the Exit Ticket. This gives me valuable feedback about what they learned during the lesson.
Edufundi is a programme that many teachers can benefit from. I have! A big thank you to my mentor for guiding and helping me with these techniques, and for always listening to me when I needed to talk. You have most definitely helped me to look differently at many things in my classroom, and even more so to realise that teaching is truly a work of heart."