KZN’s best teacher

2017-03-29 14:32
Thandeka Sibiya holds up her teaching awards in her classroom at Sobantu Secondary School.

Thandeka Sibiya holds up her teaching awards in her classroom at Sobantu Secondary School. (Ian Carbutt)

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Dedicated Pietermaritzburg teacher Thandeka Sibiya shone at the annual National Teachers Awards at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, on Saturday.

The Sobantu Secondary School teacher was named the province’s best in the Excellence in Secondary School Teaching category last year.

On Saturday, representing KwaZulu-Natal in the national awards in the same category, she was the second runner up.

Just prior to the awards ceremony, Sibiya had returned from a visit to the U.S. under the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Programme (TEA), which is aimed at better equipping teachers across the world.

The six-week course covers English, social studies, mathematics, science, and special education.

It provides opportunities for teachers to develop expertise in their subjects, enhance their teaching skills and increase their knowledge about the U.S.

An elated Sibiya said all the developments that had started unfolding in her teaching career since last year have encouraged her to continue to strive to teach well. “This accolade symbolises the efforts I have contributed towards my career so far. I will look at it and be able to say that I tried to be a good teacher,” she said.

Sibiya said she learned that every teacher across the world works hard to offer and equip children with better education. “I read stories of other teachers who I have been running with for the award, and their testimonies are amazing.

“They are all phenomenal and you wonder how they do it.

“When I was in America, I saw the same effort that teachers have to make to make education a reality,” Sibiya said.

Sibiya was stationed at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia, while she was in the U.S.

She said although their school customs are different from South Africa’s, she was struck by the safe learning environment, where pupils have a platform to talk openly with their teachers.

“They have a session where they gather in a circle and share their daily lives outside the school premises. I find this model very profound. It helps them to be transparent with their teachers,” she said.

Sibiya said she plans to share the knowledge she acquired while in the U.S., with her colleagues in the district and in the province.

She hopes to graduate with a Masters degree in education leadership management and policy later this year, and she plans to enrol for her PhD in the same field.

Read more on:    pietermarizburg

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