Mr Matshele of NM Tsuene Secondary School is an exemplary principal who leads by example. He has been attending the SchoolNet SA Change Leadership course as part of the Telkom connected schools project.
In addition to learning some new skills as part of this program, Mr Matshele has got some great strategies of his own that help him to successfully lead his school. These include:
1. Accept criticism – accepting criticism is a sign that one is willing to learn and become better at what they do.
2. Sacrifice – A good leader leads by example. If the principal tells his staff to attend training on a Saturday then he too must be willing to attend training. Even if the focus of the training will be on teachers, the principal must attend to motivate his staff members. The same applies for early learner support lessons, the principal is supposed to encourage learners to attend morning classes by being there for them.
3. Be prepared to learn new things and be ahead were possible – A good leader learns and grows with his staff members and where possible he must learn more so that he can help those he is leading.
When we interviewed Mr Matshele, his passion for teachers and learners at his school was clearly evident. In knowing that change is inevitable Mr Matshele helps his staff accept change better by being supportive, leading by example and caring for his staff members.
Circumstances have also forced Matshele to learn digital skills and he acknowledges that teachers need to learn these skills, and share them with their learners, to be more efficient and to communicate more effectively. Matshele says that two years ago he could not write an e-mail however the changing society and the need to be a global citizen has prompted him to learn how to write and send e-mails. Communicating with parents has become easier using e-mails and WhatsApp as teachers are no longer dependant on learners passing messages on to thier parents. Learning how to use the different Office Applications, such as Excel, enable teachers to do calculations more quickly and without errors, when compared to calculating manually.
It takes some effort for schools to implement any new skills and this is why NM Tsuene teachers and school leaders make time for meetings to discuss changes that they need to implement at the school. These meetings are sometimes informal yet they are useful for teachers because this is where they learn from each other. Having ICT devices and service providers who are there to help teachers to build their skills helps rejuvenate their intended accomplishment of the school vision.
Teachers at NM Tsuene are motivated by the generous sponsorship by Telkom Foundation – each of the Grade 8 classes received an interactive board and learner tablets for teaching and learning. Sadly, the learner tablets were stolen from this school in a burglary, however this has not changed the teachers enthusiasm towards technology and the school is constantly seeking ways in which they can recover what they have lost through civvies day donations and other creative ways of fund raising.
This picture shows the teachers of NM Tsuene working in their computer lab before the burglary.
We look forward to hearing more about what this inspirational principal and his staff members are able to achieve at NM Tsuene.