Three teachers from Lesotho applied and successfully gained a place on the new Wales Teacher Placement Programme (thanks to all the hardwork put in by Kim our LTPP Mentor below and her team). Tseko, Nthabiseng and Keneuoe are living in Kidwelly and teaching in Carmarthenshire schools for two months.....read their story here....
When the teachers arrived....
They were pretty nervous as you can imagine, but travelling with another 10 Basotho teachers helped! When Nthabiseng was asked how her family felt about her leaving, she replied that her mother never dreamt that one of her children would get such a fantastic opportunity! By the time we hit the M4 Tseko was already asking if his visa could be extended......a happy start to the placement.
When they settled in their new home....
They quickly got cosy in their new home town of Kidwelly. Living next to a castle and in a very old, old house definitely took them out of their comfort zone. But like most adaptable people, they've become part of the family and have started drinking tea!
When they had time to stop and reflect upon their time in their host Schools......
This are our reflection on last and weeks' findings. We have learned that there is a good communication between the teachers, they discuss learners daily. Apart from that, learners are grouped according to their learng ability and their classroom activies are planned according to their ability. The class teachers make sure that learners task and their writing books are on their tables before the lessons start.
Every class has suitable teaching and learning materials. Teacher and learner ratio is low every teacher have an assistant. The most important thing is how learners sit during the discussion with the teacher, all gather around the teacher. Learners are also grouped according to their reading ability. The get a chance of reading library book all the time, they even take them home thats why their spelling is good. Moreover learners take are incontrol of their work, they are given a chance to check their work before its marked, they have stickers in their exercise books that help them to check their work. They have profiles thats shows their learning target and their favourite things.
When I got to speak to them after 2 weeks in Wales.....
All teachers are amazed at the level of learning in their host schools and in particular how individual the teaching is...each child is valued and has a voice.
Nthabiseng made a presentaction to the children about Lesotho and was worried about them not understanding her...they all did however and have continued to practice balance things on their head all week!
Tseko's Year 2 class asked him to teach them the traditional Basotho Gum boot dance in their PE lesson. All teachers are amazed at the children's confidence and questioning skills....but are all still trying to understand their accents!
We we held a mini workshop (with a pot of tea) discussing lesson planning, schemes of work, the Literacy Numeracy Framework and how we can begin to translate their observations into practice in Wales and Lesotho!
When I began to collate their reflections and desires, a mini action plan came together.......:
1. Firstly they need to gain their confidence in their host school and start to deliver parts of lessons leading to team teaching and lesson planning.....and eventually solo teaching
2. They need to observe classes in relation to the LNF and start to engage with assessing learner ability.....ready to create a localised version for their schools in Lesotho
3. They need to plan their own Scheme of work on Lesotho for their host school to use (get to grips with PowerPoint) and deliver mini-sessions on Sesotho to learners each week.
4. Continue to observe and participate in Assessment for Learning in action.....ready to create plans and strategies for their return home.
We identified that key priorities need to be drawn up for their return home in order for their schools to improve and their classes to become more pupil-centered :
Learners need to have a voice - raise confidence and participation through Sesotho then in English
Learners need to be more independent - understand what they are learning and how they can improve
Learners need to feel valued - assessment needs to be 'on the go' and used positively each week
Learners need to be understood - tasks need to be differentiated according to ability groups so ALL can be included and succeed.