This is Bernice Okoto, one of the amazing Head Teachers who has been involved in Sabre’s transformational teacher training programme. Bernice’s school, Sakyi Agyarkwa Basic ‘B’, is in the Eastern Region of Ghana, in a town called Nsawam, about 40km north west of Accra.

Bernice has been vital to implementing play-based learning for kindergarten children in her school. With Sabre’s support, she has learnt coaching, monitoring and mentoring skills which she has been using to support her teachers to put their play-based teacher training into action.

Bernice shared, “I now have a good understanding of various coaching approaches in supporting teachers, not only in kindergarten but also the upper classes. Previously, I lacked ideas on how to provide coaching support for my teachers, I did not even think it was necessary. But I have learnt that I have a role to play in preparing teaching and learning resources, creating the appropriate learning centres, lesson note preparation, facilitating activities and storytelling to ensure that my teachers deliver the best to the children. I now sit with my teachers to determine activities that will meet the desired learning indicators for the week to ensure that the children are developing the right skills. I am now able to detect or identify what is lacking and correct a teacher without hurting their feelings.”

Bernice’s dedication to supporting her teachers is really paying off. Asante Egyimah, a kindergarten teacher at the school, has this to say. “I can say with confidence that teaching and learning is more enjoyable now than before we started our coaching sessions. Madam Bernice’s style of coaching does not in any way make us feel as though we were being told what to do but rather we see her as helping us in implementing the play-based approach in our classrooms. She comes to observe our lesson delivery and after the delivery we sit down and discuss what she observed. She first of all tells us what we were doing right and then carefully points out to us how we can improve…”

Bernice during an in-classroom coaching session, at the Shopping Centre.

Bernice notes that “I have been in the teaching profession for 26 years now but I can say I am now having the best time in my career. I support my teachers, they are happy with me and our working relationship has been superb since I started coaching them”

It’s amazing to see how far the teachers have come in Bernice’s school, with children now receiving the best possible start to their education. However, many more children across Ghana are still being taught in overcrowded classrooms by the ‘chalk and talk’ method, subjected to punishment by the cane. Please help us change this.

To support our transformational teacher training work, just click here. Your kind gift will give children in Ghana the best chance at a bright future.

This project is funded with UK aid from the British people and Echidna Giving.