We believe that education and teacher training, in particular, is critical for triggering these shifts and by transforming and innovating the way teachers are trained we can bring systemic change to education and society more broadly. We know this kind of education movement is harder to articulate and harder to win because it requires individuals to do personally challenging work in difficult circumstances. However, by working within communities of practice teachers can create significant power within themselves, and ultimately within the systems around us. By shifting values in teachers, they can then shift values in students, who can then shift values everywhere.
Letitia joined the GTI Future Leaders Program in 2016, she was an extroverted aspiring teacher with a mission in life to educate the masses in all corners of the globe. She is currently teaching Life Orientation and History to the Grade 8 and 9 class at a Leap Science and Maths School in Langa, Cape Town. Letitia foresees herself working with the change-makers of this country doing what needs to be done in education and controlling the narrative of creating a new story for education.
“Becoming a teacher was never on my top three of my careers growing the old cliché is true teaching is a calling. I answered the call in the strangest yet most gratifying ways. This has been true for me, the road has not been easy this journey has had potholes and bumps that were both personal and professional”. The four domains of GTI, Reflection, Love, Care and Empathy, Professional Mastery, have reminded me that I am not defined by my failures in life, I am empowered by them and that’s one of the many things I teach my learners.”
Letitia’s commitment to education goes far beyond content delivery, she has committed to forming meaningful relationships with learners by giving up her free time to ensure that she understands each learner. “I attend cultural activities with the kids that help to build bonds beyond the classroom, I want to see them express themselves beyond numbers and equations, I want to see them being teenagers and unconstructed by the classroom environment”.
“I was paired with an incredible mentor who kept it real at all times. She is the one who has mentored me into the teacher I am today, Ms. Alexandrea Bryant went beyond the call of duty to ensure that I delivered to my full potential as an educator never losing sight of why I was there. Reminding me that being a teacher goes beyond “these four walls” as she would say”.
My message to aspiring teachers is that during your break from your own studies or course, ask to observe classes at other schools within your district. Takedown notes of what good teaching and good teachers do, never be afraid to ask questions and always ask when you are not sure. Don’t be afraid to ask questions”.