Zinniaville Secondary School, Rustenberg, North West
With 18 years’ teaching experience, Kola is surely among the most experienced crop of teachers in the education system. She says she has always been interested in maths. “Learners have a lot of difficulties coping with maths, but the moment they walk into my class they find it a maths-friendly zone: my classroom walls are adorned with encouraging maths charts. I am a very patient, positive and enthusiastic person, so I make sure I take my learners step-by-step through their problems, and also offer extra lessons,” says Kola.
She also uses the latest technologies to help learners who struggle with maths. She finds that the learners respond well; not only do they understand the subject better, but they are also always enthusiastic when she uses technology. Kola and her colleagues as well as teachers from other neighbouring schools have established a professional learning committee. This serves as a community of practice where they meet regularly to discuss, network and compare notes on a variety of issues, including the most effective and latest maths teaching techniques.
On her nomination to the NTA, Kola says: “It is very overwhelming. I mean this was unexpected, because what I do, I do for the kids and to be in this position, it took a lot of time to sink in. It is incredibly overwhelming, but it is also a boost to say ‘you are doing well and you need to keep doing well and maintain the standard.’ ”