Lessons learned while connecting to African teachers
Posted by Janice Scheckter on 27 May 2022, 13:20 SAST
Over the past few years, we’ve had the vision to build a cross-continental online space for African teachers to connect. While our standard process is to be guided through a process of design thinking, we’ve worked in the online education space for some time now. We made a call to start a community called The Complete Teacher and share, listen and learn as a continuous cycle of improvement.
I would like to share with you, some of our observations and, I guess, surprises.
1. Our first documents that showed significant downloads were the most basic templates, like classroom rosters, parent permission forms, and similar. Lesson – don’t take stuff for granted, especially when it comes to what the community you are serving, needs.
2. Through our campaigns, we asked what the hardest pain points were for African teachers. Hands down, it was discipline, or rather the lack thereof, and within the responses, there was a strong sense of desperation.
Lesson – the lack of materials, or sub-standard classrooms that affect teachers most. Their hope for respect and the simple ability to do their jobs appears to be highly important.
3. We anticipated our reach to be South Africa and some Anglophone SADC countries. We’ve received compliments and notes of gratitude from as far afield as South Sudan.
Lesson – digital is without boundaries.
While there are more learnings every day, we continue to feel validated on this mission to ensure that every African teacher is an African Hero.