Initial Teacher Training a game-changer: Akhona Badiso shares her GTI journey

Akhona Badiso is a 3rd-year Global Teachers Institute Future Leader studying for her B.Ed in Foundation Phase through UNISA. She is currently a student-teacher placed at Sonwabo Primary School, Gugulethu, Cape Town. She is teaching a Grade 3 class under the guidance of Miss Joyce. She shares with us this month her journey in the programme and the role her mentor plays in developing her teaching career. 

AkhonaWhat attracted me to the GTI Future Leaders programme was the prospect of gaining classroom experience while studying towards a degree. Schools contact sessions are important for aspiring teachers because it allows us the opportunity to practice teaching and learn about everything related to being a full-time teacher, from instructional practices to school administration that every teacher needs to be able to do.

I was previously placed at St Augustine’s Primary School since I enrolled in the programme and recently moved to a new school at the beginning of the 2021 academic year. The programme places us at new schools each year to help prepare us for the different teaching environments we will experience after graduation.

My mentor has contributed a lot to my growth this year by providing me with guidance, support, and feedback on my lesson plans and other small tasks that I have taken on at the school. I have made mistakes during the delivery of some of my lessons, and through her feedback and support, I have been able to learn from those mistakes and improve. My mentor has played an essential role in helping me develop my learner engagement skills as a result. I am now able to connect with my learners and have a captivating classroom.

My passion for teaching started when I was doing volunteer work for a programme a school reading programme. We would go to schools and read for learners. I am passionate about education, and I don’t want to share this with my learners at school only but with the community.

I am always trying to be the best version of myself in and outside of the classroom. The programme has helped me gain confidence in myself and to trust my voice in any space that I go into. Inadequate professional training hinders aspiring teachers from doing their jobs. Being a part of the GTI programme has made a significant impact on me as a student-teacher. Mentors play a critical role in developing and growing aspiring teachers like myself as we prepare for the teaching profession.

Things would have been different for me without this programme because I would not have this vast teaching experience and knowledge that I have acquired in such a short time. I still have one more year in the programme and a lot to learn still. I’m grateful for my mentor, who has devoted her time and effort by guiding me as I develop my instruction.