Teachers learn to help pupils

Tutors from Reading and Writing Solutions attended a reading training workshop on Tuesday March 20.

Teachers became students last week when an Athlone-based non-profit that helps pupils who struggle with reading held a training workshop for its tutors.

The tutors from Reading and Writing Solutions (RWS) have been helping pupils for four years.

Jeff Paulse, the organisation’s founder, said the level-2 reading training workshop on Tuesday March 20 would help tutors “bring about a meaningful change” in the lives of their pupils.

Among other things, the four-module course covered the value of music in teaching, choosing the right time to read to a child, emotional intelligence and reading, how to be an good listener, using newspapers as reading tools, and comprehension skills.

Reading tutors who took part came from Bokmakierie, Athlone North, Blossomy, Cypress, Silverlea, Parkfields, Belhar, Erica, Parkhurst, Yellowwood, Hyde Park, Plantation Road and Factreton primary schools.

Melissa Ross, from Parkhurst Primary, said teachers never stopped learning.

“We always look forward to new methods of learning and learning how to apply these methods.”

She said the course motivated her to “think outside my own box and teach at the level of the pupil”. And she looked forward to using what she had learnt.

“It is wonderful when you learn new ways to teach with old material.”

Sheryl Malgas, a former RWS tutor now based at Alexander Sinton High School,and Carol Haupt, a Foundation Phase specialist teacher with 29 years experience, gave presentations at the workshop.

Mr Paulse said he was always amazed at the volunteer tutors’ “total dedication, commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to learn”.

Gwen Adams, from Cypress Primary, said the workshop had helped tutors connect and share information.

“Since our first workshop four years ago, we have not just grown in numbers, but technically as well,” she said.

A level-1 introductory course for new reading tutors will be held from Monday April 16 to Thursday April 19, from 9am to 3pm at the Seventh Day Adventist Church hall, Buckley Avenue, Gleemoor. (Next to Ned Doman High School). Contact Jeff Paulse at 082 216 2460 or paulsejeff@gmail.com for more information.