Maths teacher up for prestigious award

2017-02-08 06:02
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Bukiswa Mamane with her Grade 12 pupils.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Bukiswa Mamane with her Grade 12 pupils.

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PUTTING in extra work and ensuring her pupils get exceptional results has earned Fundokuhle Secondary School mathematics teacher Bukiswa Mamane recognition in her fraternity.

Mamane has made the shortlist at the National Teaching Awards after being nominated by her colleagues.

She is nominated in the Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (FET) category and will be representing KwaZulu-Natal nationally.

“I was very surprised when I found out my subject advisors had chosen me as a suitable candidate for the awards. I don’t do my work because I want to seek fame, all that matters is that my pupils receive a proper education and enjoy themselves while doing so. Being nominated only makes me want to work even harder because I love my job.”

The National Teaching Awards were launched in 2000 as a way for the Department of Basic Education to acknowledge and encourage dedicated and caring teachers in their efforts to develop each pupil. Mamane has been teaching for 13 years and started at Fundokuhle in 2009.

“I try to make my lessons more interactive and engage with my pupils more; I also use my laptop to display the work we’re doing on the projector so they have an idea of what we are talking about in practicality. They catch on really quickly if you give them a chance to talk in class, this also allows them to come up with their own methods for sums and I end up learning from them.”

She said her teaching style also involves consulting after hours with her pupils on Facebook or WhatsApp.

“They all have my cell phone number and know they are welcome to contact me should they get stuck while doing homework. I am always available on WhatsApp or Facebook after hours, whichever is easier for them. I also stay at school until 4pm every day for one-on-ones, they know my door is always open.

“At the beginning of the year I give my pupils their yearly learning programme so they keep track of how far we are with our lessons and what’s still to come. That way they can also prepare for lessons ahead.”

Mamane’s passion for teaching drove her to initiate Saturday classes and other teachers have followed suit.

“I have morning classes every day at 7am before the normal day commences. We also have Saturday classes from 8am to 12pm, which have now formed part of the schools normal routine. All teachers voluntarily come in for those few hours to put in the extra work, the improvement in our matric results pass rate is evidence of that work. It makes all the difference that our pupils are just as dedicated.”

Fundokuhle received a 70% matric pass rate in 2016 and Mamane said this year they are aiming for 100%.

“The role of a teacher is to create brighter futures for all children that walk to your classroom. A good teacher must always develop themself; you cannot use the same teaching methods that were used 20 years ago. Go with the evolving times and use modern methods that are relevant to your pupils. Never stop learning, even from your pupils,” she said.

The National Teaching Awards will be held in March.

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