As an educator, Subject Advisor and a life-long learner, to me, Teacher Professional Development (TPD) is a well-structured professional guide that is used to improve teaching skills, strategies and the enhancement of curriculum delivery. Through TPD, teachers are given various strategies to improve their teaching and learning skills.
In the drastically changing world, continuous professional development is of great significance as it creates platforms for teachers to support each other whilst learning together. Teachers are exposed to highly contextualized professional learning. This is imperative in the world where teachers have to keep up with the extremely high learning pace of the 21st century learners. Teach2030 has skilled me on how to use ICT, without having to pay a lot of money.
TPD is a broad concept, which cannot be achieved through governmental support alone. Hence, the intervention of Teach2030 as a non-profit organisation cannot be underestimated. Over the years, Teach2030 has managed to inspire a large number of teachers in their various levels through online platforms.
Through its sessions, Teach2030 has exposed teachers to various teaching areas:
- Effective communication and interaction.
- Managing classroom
- Use of a cell phone as an effective teaching tool.
- Providing teachers that are working in the most challenging settings in the world with effective teaching tools so as to be able to teach better.
I decided to become a Teach2030 Ambassador after seeing that it has opened my eyes on how to do your best as an educator, irrespective of your environment, which in my case, is working with teachers from rural and farm schools. I felt that this is one great platform that could develop our teachers in their various contexts. For example, the use of a smartphone as a digital teaching and learning tool, and the coaching course were the most interesting sessions for me, and I think they can benefit a lot of teachers, especially in the rural setup.
Impact of Professional Development
Through its unflagging support, Teach2030 has inspired me to continue supporting teachers who are working in the most marginalized areas like farm, small and multi-grade teaching schools. As a district multi-grade coordinator in the Eastern Cape, which is one of the rural provinces in South Africa, through the skills and information that I have been skilled on, by Teach2030 through their effective workshops, I have managed to upskill teachers using easily-accessible teaching material, which is bite-sized and of a high quality.
In South Africa, multi-grade teachers have a responsibility to combine and teach learners from two, three or four grades at the same time and in the same classroom. This is currently the only solution for them to cater for the shortage of teachers in their small schools and to see to it that their learners’ rights as far as education is concerned are taken care of. These are schools that may be having only two, three or four teachers if they are lucky, whilst having to teach learners from Grade R to Grade 7. Teach2030 is a user-friendly platform that can be tailor-made to cater for every teacher and in every situation in the education sphere.
TPD has provided me with an opportunity to come up with a clear vision on how to become a better teacher, both to myself and to other teachers. This is an endeavour I could not have achieved without collaborating with other teachers from around the world, whether through the 15 minutes workshops or well informed videos on teaching strategies and lesson management. Through these informative workshops, on various levels of teaching and lesson management, teachers can get certificates in the comfort of their schools or homes and without leaving their learners.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela.
This has to start with you and me. Thank you.
About the author
Babalwa Puzi is an e-Teaching and Learning Education Specialist, a Multi-Grade Coordinator and an author from South Africa.
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