Educating future leaders

Champion Teachers Program


The Champion Teacher’s Program is a three-year national program for public school teachers and leaders in rural parts of South Africa who have been identified as potential change agents in their schools and communities. The program facilitates professional development workshops for these twenty-four ‘Champion Teachers’ from twelve surrounding government schools.

Mission

To address educational disadvantage in South Africa by growing a movement of outstanding “Champion Teachers” who view themselves as leaders in their classrooms and their community.

Aims

  • Provide professional development, teacher coaching, and other resources that empower educators to question the status quo, resolve classroom issues through personal awareness, and be a catalyst for change within their school and throughout the broader educational landscape
  • Create communities of practice that provide space for collaboration, and inspire teachers to develop innovative ways of making a difference
  • Provide self-reflection tools and training that challenge teachers to reframe their teaching practice around personal experiences and growth

Model

Instead of the traditional professional development approach of instructional leaders dictating theories and handing out ideas, the Champion Teacher’s Program seeks to create a collaborative learning community where the teachers themselves generate solutions. Teachers accepted into the program commit to attending a set amount of workshops each year to help improve their teaching practice and collaborate with others. They also commit to working with a professional development coach who helps adapt and personalize the skills acquired throughout the program to fit each teacher’s specific needs.

Program workshops and coaching focus on topics such as:

  • Discovering your personal vision for your classroom and sharing it with your learners
  • Modeling safety in your classroom
  • Understanding your community’s culture and past
  • Managing difficult conversations
  • Teaching strategies for large classrooms
  • Creating the structure for a safe observation/growth cycle for teachers in a community

Values – Everyone at LEAP commits to:

  • Being kind, honest and healthy
  • Being punctual and looking good
  • Working hard and never giving up
  • Admitting and learning from mistakes
  • Confronting issues and being open to change
  • Working together and sharing