Sitembiso Ncube's Learning Story


I felt safe and comfortable around her. I was eager to go to school every day because I just couldn’t wait to be in my English Language teacher’s classroom. It was not just the classroom that was inspirational, I just don’t have words powerful enough to describe her lessons that took us one rung higher each day.Mrs. Kashora’s classroom was not only a learning beehive, but it was a beautiful gallery that took you to all parts of the world where you learned about a people you never met. It was a visual thesaurus;a learning tool for her students that were 95% English Language learners. This was during a time when technological resources were limited, but this resourceful teacher used the walls of her classroom as a resource for her students. I will ever be grateful to Mrs. Kashora for instilling a sense of self worth in not only me but to all those who were fortunate to be her students. She encouraged us and respected every effort we made to learn.From her, I learned that failure is just a learning opportunity: an experience from which you come out as a better person with a new approach to problem solving.From her, I learned not only to value my work but also to value and respect fellow students’ efforts to learn. What I loved most about my English Language teacher’s approach was the way she availed opportunities for us to orally explore English Language which was a second language to most of us.She made us feel comfortable to converse with each other. Also she gave us ample opportunities to develop our written expression ,cultivated and reinforced our editorial skills. She taught us to to produce a written piece and be able to stand back and take pride in our products.Mrs. Kashora’s expertise was largely in the way she demonstrated reading for comprehension. I saw her dramatize Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet all by herself as she read it to us. I saw her bring Great Expectations, the Color Purple, and Their Eyes Were Watching God on stage, to mention a few of the great books we read with her.One day we found her sitting on a log, dress like Touchstone in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. She quietly sat there until we all took our seats in anticipation. Her stage set up was breath taking. A forest came to life in our classroom. Then she broke the silence by Touchstone’s soliloquy. She passionately went through it then started to think aloud analyzing the speech while we were so absorbed n what she was doing. We had never seen such kind of teaching. Mrs. Kashora was unpredictable,she had surprises for us every day. Our classroom was a beehive almost every day. We took up roles as different characters of the books we read and demonstrated our comprehension of their roles through either art or empathy. We worked in groups or in pairs most of the time and there was a lot of academic noise. Sometimes we had students from our neighboring school come and learn with us and our teachers did a wonderful job of co-teaching us. Mrs. Kashora’s famous directive to focus our discussions on tasks at hand was,”let me hear some academic noise boys and girls,let me hear just that please.” Our assessments came in different forms to cater for our different learning styles.There are many great teachers in the world, and Mrs. Kashora is one of them.