TEACH Ambassadors are selected based on their achievement at university, their leadership qualities, as well as other key characteristics that are critical to their success in schools. Significant changes have been recorded in the classrooms in which TEACH Ambassadors have worked, particularly with the cohorts of 2009 and 2010.
The TEACH SA-Maruleng Municipality English Tournament experience – Mathews Molapo
Over the past two years, I have heard so many negative reports from fellow Limpopo educators about the poor academic performance and appalling social behaviours of their learners.
Having an overwhelming number of learners with learning difficulties and who lack the necessary interpersonal skills, it is easy to always expect the worst and forget the few good children that we do have. Fortunately, no matter how terrible the situation can get, as a TEACH Ambassador one always hopes for the best.
The annual TEACH South Africa-Maruleng Municipality English Tournament is a light at the end of the tunnel, and proof that not all is gloom and doom.
Having missed the first tournament last year, this year I made a pledge to attend and bring my learners. By the way my school, Khataza High, lies outside of the Maruleng Municipality realm. I fulfilled my promise and on Thursday 11 October 2012, my learners and I arrived just after 7am at a community hall in Hlohlokwe, Sekororo.
Learners from the various participating schools arrived excitedly. Natazia Cupido’s Sekgabjana team intimidated me the moment I saw them because they wore golf shirts specifically made for the tournament, with their individual names written on the back and the name of the activity they would be participating in. If this regalia had this effect on me, what would it do to my learners?
Hiker’s reflections – Macdonald Chapwanya
When a hiker stands at the summit of the mountain he conquered, he feels a sense of relief, achievement and pride in overcoming the obstacles along the way to the top. The journey from start to finish can often be described as impossible.
Such is the feeling of the TEACH Ambassador, two years after committing to make a difference in the classroom and beyond. Today I look back at where I started and unashamedly take pride, not in what I have achieved, but in who I have become in the process and the value I have added to the lives of many.
Vivid memories of my first day in the classroom, in January 2010, portray nothing short of chaos and disorder. Unmotivated, discouraged and academically wounded learners sat on broken chairs and desks but took pleasure in the “freedom” of not having a teacher since the start of the school year.
Such a sight and “welcome” should have made me think twice and ask: “What have I gotten myself into?”
Leading through Teaching
My name is Brandon Raubenheimer, I am 25 years old and I’m a TEACH Ambassador. I teach English at a school called Fumana Comprehensive in Katlehong on the East Rand of Johannesburg where I try to make a difference in the lives of the children.
As a TEACH Ambassador you are required to do a project that involves the learners, teachers and the community as a whole. I chose to start a soccer tournament during class breaks which kicked off in the last week of July 2010 after the very exciting World Cup. The learners usually spend their breaks just sitting in the sun, so the tournament provided them with an enjoyable and positively interactive alternative to boredom.
Fumana Comprehensive doesn’t have many resources including the necessary equipment or infrastructure for the tournament. I solved this problem by finding a piece of unused land on the school grounds and I went around to schools in the area to borrow hockey goalposts. I also received a sponsorship for soccer balls from my mentor, Andile Ncontsa, who worked at Old Mutual at the time.
The tournament was incredibly successful. From day one the vuvuzelas blew loudly at break time, both boys and girls took part and corridor chatter excitedly discussed who was playing and who was winning. Other teachers loved the effect the tournament had on the learners and parents were happy that their children were involved in fun, positive activity.
My main goal for 2011 for the learners that I teach, is to encourage and develop the soccer tournament as it is a positive influence on the community as a whole.
Read Brandon’s full profile here.
Meet TEACH Ambassador Meurial Magaya
Meurial Magaya holds an MSc in Geophysics. As a TEACH Ambassador for 2009, she was placed at Erasmus Monareng Secondary School on the East Rand, Johannesburg, teaching Physical Science to Grade 11 learners.
Upon her arrival at the school, Meurial was faced with the challenge of providing practical lessons within an under-resourced and under-utilised science laboratory. In trying to bridge the gap between practical and theoretical learning, Meurial offered her extra time to learners. Her dedication and determination resulted in a high pass rate from her learners in that year. She was asked to teach Grade 12s in 2010 because of the positive impact she had.
Read Meurial’s full profile here.