Teaching is one of those noble professions that has been desecrated by changing systems, changing curricula, a changed Ministry, a different type of student, poor media hype, change in teacher training institutions, qualifications and so on. These changes are not necessarily bad but leave the teacher in a state of confusion, frustration and sheer panic. Are the teachers been helped?

Cathy Foden and Dawn Harrison have recognised the slow seeping away of respect for the teacher and the teaching profession and acknowledge the ever growing difficulty to produce passionate teachers equipped to cope and be successful in what has become a most demanding profession. This dynamic duo are pursuing a dream to re-ignite that flame of passion to teach by providing a “survival kit” of training and development workshops, short courses and presentations for the teacher which they facilitate around the country.

“Our series of workshops and short courses supported by printed material and DVD’s are designed to motivate the teacher; ignite the passion and cope with the ever increasing demands in teaching.” says Cathy. We believe in a “hands-on” approach to workshopping teaching and assessing skills and to motivating our teachers. Our “hands-on” approach is the incorporation of exercises, role-plays, video’s and DVD’s and most importantly the provision of information that the teacher can actually implement in his or her teaching.

We have recently read many news reports on the poor pass rate of our students who wrote Matric in 2009 and still much blame is laid at the feet of the student. Cathy and Dawn agree that students must be accountable for their own learning and receiving one of their “Study Skills” booklets would be useful. However, the years of experience this dynamic duo has in Teacher Development programmes has taught them that the teacher must also bear some accountability and the institutions must provide the teacher with the support they require to further develop their skills to teach. “Further skill development is essential” says Dawn “and although we do provide this in our workshops and short courses, we are driven to motivating our teachers to be so proficient as to command respect. The saying “Respect is earned” is very true, and both student and teacher must work hard to earn each other’s respect in order to create an environment conducive to learning” explained Dawn.

This dynamic duo is committed to making the classroom the place to be. What student will walk pass a classroom where a well groomed teacher with a pleasant, open expression on his or her face is engaging with students who are awake and eager to learn. I would not!

Contact either Cathy or Dawn at cathyfoden@absamail.co.za or dawnh@chillibyte.com

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