Training Academy 2010by TEACH South Africa
The TEACH South Africa Training Academy 2010 was held from January 3 to 17 at the South African Breweries’ Training Institute in Kyalami, Johannesburg.
According to Nalini Reddy, TEACH South Africa’s training and support consultant, training for the 2010 group of TEACH Ambassadors “went extremely well”, with high expectations already in place for the success of this year’s crop of TEACH Ambassadors.
“Because of the lessons learned during our selection process last year [TEACH South Africa’s first such process], this year we had a very rigorous process for the applicants to go through. Of the 1 800 people who showed interest, we only selected 39,” explains Reddy.
In addition to a lengthy online application form, the applicants underwent, among others: day-long interview sessions; a literacy test and a competency test in the subject they were going to teach. They also had to have demonstrable leadership qualities.
The result of this intense application process is an “excellent selection of TEACH Ambassadors this year”.
The TEACH Academy is run once a year and is an “orientation programme for the graduates who have no prior teaching experience”.
The programme aims to ensure that the new TEACH Ambassadors arrive at the schools they’ve been placed at well-prepared to deal with what is expected of them.
“The model currently used looks at a fixed, in-house orientation,” said Reddy. “This year there was a two week in-house training period and then two weeks at a school, which is called post-provision training. Once the Department of Education allocates posts for the TEACH Ambassadors, we place them in those schools for the next part of their training.”
TEACH South Africa has a very clear understanding of the framework that underpins the TEACH Academy.
The Academy uses six leadership principles and the seven roles of the educator as the basis for all courses taught. Everything the TEACH Ambassadors do afterwards connects to this framework, which they have found to be very helpful.
“Everything conducted during training will speak to one or more of these seven roles or six leadership principles. It’s not a case of leaving the TEACH Ambassadors to work things out themselves. For every ‘How’ question there were people to provide ‘How to’ responses,” Reddy adds.
The two-week in-house training programme ended with a peer-reviewed micro-teaching session, in which each of the TEACH Ambassadors was asked to prepare a short lesson on a predetermined subject in a simulated environment. Each of those sessions was recorded, with feedback from peers and facilitators immediately afterward.
During the two-week post provision training at the schools, the TEACH Ambassadors receive intensive support. Thereafter, they receive planned continuous support for the duration of their two-year tenure with TEACH South Africa.