In November last year we began piloting our new In-Service Training (INSET) programme with the teachers from the four new Sabre constructed schools in the Western Region. These teachers are receiving a specially designed one year training programme that has been adapted from the Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training programme. Due to the geographical location of the schools they will not receive student teachers and so the teachers are learning how they can run the programme in their classrooms so that the schools can become District Model Schools and display best practice kindergarten teaching.

We are delighted to announce that Beatrice Mensah, who started the INSET programme in November, is the February teacher of the month in the Western Region. Beatrice was a Primary 2 teacher at Akony Domoli Agyan D/A school in Nzema East district and was very reluctant to transfer to the Kindergarten (KG) 2 class when asked by her head teacher, Isaac Tobilla. Mr Tobilla made this request because, until then, the KG1 and KG2 classes had been taught by one teacher and it would be impossible for this teacher to implement the new teaching method single-handedly in two classes.

However, twelve weeks after participating in the first INSET training workshop and implementing the approach in her new KG2 class, Beatrice phoned the Sabre team to express her gratitude and how her eyes had been opened to the importance of KG despite her initial reluctance. Beatrice shared with the team that her reluctance had stemmed from her fear that the children would talk too much and she wouldn’t be able to control them because she wouldn’t be able to use the cane. Having now discovered the effectiveness of other behaviour management strategies, however, such as the use of rewards and consequences, she now loves coming to school more than ever before and not only setting activities, but guiding children in doing them and actually engaging in them with the children.

Beatrice also told us, as well as her primary school colleagues, that she has been impressed with the phonics programme because her KG2 children are clearly already destined to be outshining the children she used to teach at Primary 2 level. She said that, whereas Primary 2 children have difficulty sounding out and writing two-letter words, the KG2 children in her class will be able to do this by the time they enter Primary 1.

Congratulations to Beatrice and keep up all of your amazing work!

image: Beatrice Mensah