A Conversation with a GTI Mentor: Mr Mr Mqabuko Dube

GTI-112Global Teachers Institute shines a light on all our mentors who play a huge supporting role in our Future Leaders Programme, who make our work extraordinary.

Mr Mqabuko Dube currently teaches at Leap 4 Science and Maths School, Diepsloot, in Johannesburg. He has been a mentor in the GTI Future Leaders Programme since 2018. In our conversation below, he shares his experiences and what motivates him to mentor young aspiring teachers.

1. When did you start teaching?

I started teaching in 2008. It’s been a good 13 years!

2. What subject (s) do you teach? 

I teach History, English and Geography.

3. How did you get involved in the Future Leaders Programme?

I got involved in the GTI Future Leaders Programme when l joined LEAP three years ago. There were History Future Leaders who were under the mentorship of my predecessor, so l automatically assumed his duties, including the mentorship of those 3 Future Leaders.

4. Why do you recognise yourself as a mentor?

I have been able to guide and help Future Leaders learn how to become professional teachers, and l have seen them gain teaching skills to demonstrate professional growth. I enjoy seeing them progress and grow into teachers. 

5. What moves and motivates you to be a great mentor?

I’m motivated by seeing young people not shunning but joining the teaching profession and taking it not just as a profession but also as a calling where they aspire to impact our children’s nurturing and growth positively.

6. What are some of the highlights you can share about the GTI Mentorship Programme?

Some of my highlights include learning how to co-teach with your mentee, effective communication between a mentor and mentee, and amicably resolving conflicts without damaging the relationship, which has positively impacted my mentees in the programme. We attend mentor workshops every quarter, and I always look forward to seeing other in-service teachers involved in this work. 

7. What value has the intern added in the school with their voice as a young aspiring teacher?

My mentee has managed to establish a rapport with the Grade 8s and 9s because of her learner-centred teaching, which appeals to lower grades. She has also helped Grade 11s and 12s decide on career choices and showed them ways to search for funding opportunities and which universities will be best for the studies they want to pursue. She has new and fresh experience with such things.

8. What challenges did COVID-19 bring, and how were you able to navigate them?

COVID-19 resulted in a staggered learner attendance which reduced our instructional time and exposure for my Future Leaders, but later they managed to get classes to teach. COVID-19 also forced me to change from the conventional way of teaching to include ICT use which turned out to be effective and less burdensome.

9. Any words of encouragement for young teachers who wish to pursue teaching as a career?

Treat the profession as a calling so that you develop patience and the satisfaction of positively impacting the lives of learners and fighting poverty through education.