Training teachers to teach and feel

2017-09-05 06:01
Fadia Williams of education consultancy McWilliams & Company says nothing can stop her dream of inspiring teachers in Africa.

Fadia Williams of education consultancy McWilliams & Company says nothing can stop her dream of inspiring teachers in Africa.

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With violence at schools repeatedly hitting the headlines and teachers feeling overwhelmed, leaders in education are set to meet in the Cape Town CBD soon to consider holistic and alternative educational methods.

McWilliams & Company is organising the Holistic Education Conference to help empower schools with socio-emotional learning (SEL) tools.

McWilliams & Company founder Fadia Williams says an education revolution is needed to turn around countless schools across South Africa where teachers are frustrated and uninspired. Williams, who recently visited Wynberg Girls’ High School, works with various schools in Mitchell’s Plain, Manenberg, Langa and Eerste River.

“Teachers surveyed across community schools in the Western Cape alone have described an average day at their schools as challenging, stressful and overwhelming. Ill-mannered learners, curriculum deadlines, class disruption, challenges with parents, after-school workload and a disorganised school environment are all factors that leave teachers feeling drained,” says Williams.

Williams says the SEL training with teachers is a process in which children and adults get the knowledge, attitudes and skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible ­decisions.

“We inspire school leaders to create SEL environments at their schools and we equip teachers with practical tools to become self-aware and able to manage their emotions,” she says.

Williams is a fourth-generation teacher in a family of teachers and has worked as a teacher and school principal in Cape Town and Johannesburg. In 2013, she established her education consultancy.

“Nothing can stop my dream of inspiring teachers in Africa. I’ve studied and figured out what inspires teachers, what motivates them to carry on, what tools or training they need, and how I can provide a service to them,” says Williams.

Williams says her conference will unpack the fundamentals of optimal learning.

“We believe education is the key to understanding oneself and how to be in the world.”

A free introduction to McWilliams & Company and its SEL methods will be held at the Castle of Good Hope on Saturday at 10:00. The conference will be at the Centre for the Book on Saturday 16 September. Entry costs R850 per person.

V Tickets are available from Webtickets.

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