Over the next 3.5 weeks the San Francisco and Oakland Arear will be hosting 8 Global Teachers Institute Teachers through the Teach With Africa Educator Exchange. The main aim of the exchange is to help build relationships, learn and share pedagogical philosophies and practices from the US and South African teachers.
We sat down to profile Nthabiseng Matsetela, who has had the luck of being selected for the exchange for the second consecutive time, she is currently doing her 4th year in B.Ed. studies at Unisa majoring in Mathematics and Psychology teaching her practical’s to grade 5 and 7’s at Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra, Johannesburg.
“Last year I attended teacher workshops with teachers from Oakland. Through our conversation, I realized that we have a similar school environment and challenges. I was interested in that space and wanted to return. I submitted an application to be part of the exchange for the second time because I felt that I owed it to myself to share with them how we in South Africa handle or solve the similar challenges they face at the schools and from the community. I plan to learn their different ways of handling or solving challenges too. This time around I want to practice the giving side from taking” said Nthabiseng.
Nthabiseng’s journey with Global Teachers Institute started in 2016 when she was working as an administrator. She knew that she had always wanted to become a teacher, to be actively involved in her community and make a difference. It happened that one day when she was browsing online looking at her interest in teaching during her tea break, she came across the GTI summit invitation, which was happening during the June school holidays.
She applied and was able to attend one-day summit session which was held at the University of Witwatersrand’s Education Campus. The conversations she had, the teachers and aspiring teachers who shared their experience as well as the Axis Forum panel which engaged with school leaders and citizens invested in education motivated her and changed her perspective about education in a positive way. She applied for the Future Leaders Programme and enrolled in the programme in 2017
Nthabiseng further explained that the program has contributed to her grow in many ways, as an intern she was placed in different schools, private and public. The experience that she got from the schools, PD sessions that were held in her region every Friday and GTI summit where she had both informal and formal interaction with relevant individuals (local and international citizens) has been of great value.
We asked Nthabiseng what value the TWA Educator Exchange added to her professional experience? The value that the US exchange programme in 2019 added to my experience was to take ownership and responsibility to change society and my classroom practice in a positive vision.
Our purposeful and structured programmes are aimed at creating learning opportunities. The selected 8 teachers will depart for the San Francisco on 28 February and are set to return on 28 March. We will be posting weekly blogs over this period as the educators share their professional learning experiences.