The Champion Teachers Programme is a three-year national programme for public school teachers and leaders in rural South Africa who have been identified as potential change agents in their schools and communities. The programme facilitates professional development workshops for these twenty-four ‘Champion Teachers’ from government schools.
The progress seeks to address educational disadvantages in South Africa by growing a movement of outstanding “Champion Teachers” who view themselves as leaders in their classrooms and their community.
- Provide professional development, teacher coaching, self-reflection tools and other resources that empower teachers to reframe their teaching practice around personal growth, and resolve classroom issues through personal awareness.
- Create communities of practice that provide space for teacher collaboration and help teachers develop innovative ways of making a difference.
- Motivate and inspire teachers to question the status quo and be a catalyst for change in their schools and the broader educational landscape.
Instead of the traditional professional development approach of instructional leaders dictating theories and ideas, the Champion Teacher’s programme seeks to create a collaborative learning community where the teachers themselves generate solutions.
Teachers accepted into the programme commit to attending a set amount of workshops each year to help improve their teaching practice and collaborate with others. They also commit to working with a professional development coach who helps adapt and personalize the skills acquired throughout the programme to fit each teacher’s specific needs.
Programme workshops and coaching focus on topics such as:
- Discovering your personal vision for your classroom and sharing it with your learners
- Modeling safety in your classroom
- Understanding your community’s culture and past
- Managing difficult conversation
- Creating the structure for a safe observation/growth cycle for teachers in a community