Happy New Year to you, Njabulo. After a year of teaching Maths to Grade 4, you are going back to teaching Life Skills, the subject in which you were trained. We worked together for three terms while you used the Mwabu units with your Grade 4 learners. You also received Mwabu Academy training and mentoring visits. Please share your reflections on the Mwabu experience with us.
I have really enjoyed my time working with the Mwabu team. I always looked forward to the visits, Mwabu has really helped me. I liked using the units and the learners were always involved. They love the interactive activities. The biggest improvement was in how much more responsive the learners became to their Maths lessons. I am sad to be leaving the Maths department and Mwabu. I don’t have a qualification in Maths, so I am returning to my subject - Life Skills.
Has your teaching practice changed at all since using the Mwabu units and receiving Academy support?
My teaching style has changed. I will no longer have Mwabu's custom-made units, so I think I will now try and create my own. I have my own tablet, so I will search and download videos to use in the classroom. I should be able to access the projector for my lessons sometimes. My experience with Mwabu has definitely increased my confidence with technology.
What strategies and techniques from Mwabu training will you continue to use?
I will use pair work, where the learners talk to each other. I will also use the strategy where you ask a question, wait and then ask another question based on the learner’s answer. I like using thumbs up/thumbs down: you ask a question and tell learners to show thumbs up if they understand, or thumbs down if they don’t. You can then see immediately who has been concentrating, and who understands. I can then ask a follow-up question to find out if they really do understand the work. I feel that I have developed and grown as a teacher because of the Mwabu training.
How did you find having the mentoring and observation visits?
I found them very valuable and would continue having them if I could. They were a way for me to learn new things.
Thank you so much Njabulo for your hard work and cooperation with us all at Mwabu.