Pfano is a tutor at Jeppe Park Primary, following her love and passion for education. She is currently studying at UNISA to become a qualified teacher and has a certificate in Personal Management obtained at UNISA. Last year she worked at Harambee in their call centre, who put her in contact with Streetlight Schools.
Pfano has been working for Streetlight Schools since the opening of Jeppe Park Primary in January 2016. During the past nine months Pfano has learned a lot. Working at a new primary school in a place like Jeppestown has its challenges, but Pfano has been growing as teacher. Initially, she wanted to teach adults, but after working with the children at Jeppe Park she realized that teaching children is her new passion. Pfano says:
“Small children ask you questions that you have never thought about.”
By hiring extraordinary school leadership, partnering with talent sourcing organisations like Harambee and education training organisations like Instill Education, Streetlight Schools has been able to focus on intensive, high-quality teacher development orientate passionate individuals successfully towards becoming competent, professional and passionate educators who are likely to remain in the profession for life.
Pfano is one of these talented young people who has benefited from this training and now aspires to be a qualified teacher. The school has helped pay her tuition fees and has given her an opportunity to understand the profession in practice alongside the studies.
When asked how the school has helped her out in the process of becoming a better teacher, Pfano directly refers to the school leader, Heidi Lindberg Augestad.
“Everytime when I am struggling with something, I go and tell her ‘oh I cannot take it’ and she will say ‘no, no’ like a psychologist and tell me what I need to do.”
She explains that Heidi has been a great mentor the whole way, and by observing some of the classes each week she is able to give the teachers feedback and help them improve. Pfano has also been observing the two experienced teachers, Christina and Tatenda, and comments on their great class management skills and teaching methods.
The progress made by our students so far is palpable and the data from our assessments speaks clearly, but the growth in the teachers is just as noticeable. The growth of patience is something we have seen in all the teachers since the beginning, and it has been the key to the students progress. For kids that didn’t know any English before coming to the school, they have grown tremendously. Pfano is a Zulu teacher as well, and started with speaking in Zulu for them to understand. But after a short while she would have the whole class speaking English and all of them would be engaged.
Pfano believes that all children deserve the best education, and so do we. At Streetlight schools we believe that the best way to guarantee sustainable growth of our approach is by developing our staff from the ground up. By harnessing the untapped talent of young South Africans, and training them in the school environment, we invest in developing precisely the people that are best placed to do this work.
Streetlight Schools Communications Intern