I feel as though Randfontein Primary School is now my “second” home…actually, my school away from school! It was such a thrill to be able walk into the classrooms and to be greeted so warmly by the learners and the teachers I truly felt at home. I was lucky enough teach grades 4-7 during my stay.
We focused on poetry, writing, heart mapping and the reading of some of my favorite short stories for the enhancement of reading comprehension. In addition, the teachers and I shared many a cup of “red bush” tea as we discussed the challenges and joys of teaching. We found that although there are many differences in our methodology, there are more similarities than even we could have imagined….the frustration of simultaneously working with multiple levels is often offset by the joys of inspiring and being inspired by our students.
Unfortunately, the teacher strike had just begun during our visit and the key issues are still not resolved as of the writing of this blog. When we arrived, strategically late, the gates were locked, the doors were shut and there was a quiet calm hovering about a school that is usually alive with the laughing and scurrying of happy voices. The scary part of this strike is that there are threats and violence associated with the negotiations between the teachers and the 5 unions that represent them. Kendall and I felt as though we did our part by teaching so that the teachers could confer with Bernadette during the tense times of the day.